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Why learning about computers and coding is essential?

Computers and Coding

Courtesy of splash.abc.net.au, please watch their video on Computers and Coding.

Whilst viewing the video, think about the following:

  • Do you know how computers display web pages with images, different headings and text?What about the way computer games work? It’s all to do with computer coding. How do you think this language is written?
[SOURCE: splash.abc.net.au]
Why Kids Should Learn Coding

Should Kids Learn Coding?

Are you thinking whether your kids should learn coding?

Think no more. Kids Should Learn Coding. Encourage your kids and give them the opportunity to learn coding because it will be an essential skill set required for the digital age economy we are living in now and it can only get more technology focused when kids grow up.

Coding or computer programming is not just about putting together a technical set of instructions but it develops critical analytical thinking skills. It teaches the HOW to think and create, and most importantly how to solve problems.

The ability to problem solve and think critically is a fundamental skill helping kids to be prepared for the digital driven world we live in, and the way of the future.

Steve Jobs quoted:

Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you to think.

Even as an adult facilitating coding workshops and working with kids to introduce computational concepts via fun and creative computer programming language platforms like Scratch, it has helped me to think outside the square and to think deeper and more logically about the next steps of instructions required, and realise that there are many different ways to the art of HOW to solve problems.

It never surprises me anymore that even a kid as young as 7 comes up with a different way of applying ‘code blocks’ together to get to the same desired result. This 7 year old kid helps his older 9 year old brother create animation stories and game designs. And the best part is, both are working together (pair programming) to help each other solve problems.

Learning to code, especially when later in life, is not easy like when you’re trying to learn a language, it is always easier as a child than when you are an adult. This is why ‘coding literacy’ at an early age should be a must.

What is computational thinking?

It is about mastering problem solving skills. It is about chunking down tasks into logical sequences of smaller steps, removing unnecessary steps, detecting errors and always looking at new ways to solve problems when the first attempt fails.

Coders have a saying that there are two solutions to every problem, and then a third that actually works. [theguardian.com]

Simply put, coding is about telling the computer what to do. The ‘what to do’ are the instructions we tell the computer.

For example, in one of our Scratch workshops, we looked at a couple of different Scratch challenges like the following:

How to make other Scratch sprites dance when you click the Cat Sprite (character) only?

The kids were given a few minutes to think about this challenge, and they were asked to put forward which Scratch ‘code blocks’ they needed, the order of the code blocks (list of steps from 1 to the end) and the trigger (Event code block) we needed to program to activate the dancing action of the other characters when only one of the characters is clicked.

This may seem to be a simple exercise but it generated lots of eager hands in the air exploding with answers, and tonnes of sheer excitement in wanting to apply the code blocks, test it, ‘debug it’ (removing the unnecessary blocks) and to try to solve the challenge, not just once but several times until we reached our goal.

Everyone, old or young, should be given the opportunity to learn coding to not only develop necessary life skills like problem solving but to become ready for the digital driven age we are living in now and the future.

Happy Coding!

Coding Workshops for Kids

Learn HTML & CSS to Build Websites VIDEO

Learn HTML & CSS to Build Websites VIDEO

  • What is HTML?
  • What is a HTML element?
  • What is CSS?
  • Why do you need CSS?

Watch an animated video to help you understand HTML & CSS.

JOIN A CODING WORKSHOP

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Coding Workshops for Kids

What are the 7 Computational Thinking Concepts?

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What are the 7 Computational Concepts?

1. Sequences

A key concept in programming is that a particular activity or task is expressed as a series of individual steps or instructions that can be executed by the computer. Like a recipe, a sequence of programming instructions specifies the behaviour or action that should be produced.

2. Loops

Loops are a mechanism for running the same sequence multiple times.

3. Events

Events – one thing causing another thing to happen – are an essential component of interactive media. For example, a start button triggering the beginning of a music video, or the collision of two objects causing a game’s score to increase.

4. Parallelism

Sequences of instructions happening at the same time.

5. Conditionals

Another key concept in interactive media is conditionals – the ability to make decisions based on certain conditions, which supports the expression of multiple outcomes.

6. Operators

Operators provide support for mathematical, logical and string expressions, enabling the programmer to perform numeric and string manipulations.

7. Data

Data involves storing, retrieving and updating values. Data containers include variables (which can maintain a single number or string) and lists (which can maintain a collection of numbers or strings). Keeping score in a game is a frequent motivator for young designers to explore variables.
Source: Brennan & Resnick, AERA 2012
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Coding Workshops for Kids North Epping

What is creative computing?

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What is Creative Computing?

1. Creative computing is about creativity.

Computer science and computing-related fields have long been introduced to young people in a way that is disconnected from their interests and values – emphasising technical detail over creative potential.

Creative computing supports the development of personal connections to computing, by drawing upon creativity, imagination and interests.
2. Creative computing is about empowerment.

Many young people with access to computers participate as consumers, rather than designers or creators.
Creative computing emphasises the knowledge, practices, and fundamental literacies that young people need to create the types of dynamic and interactive computational media that they enjoy in their daily lives.
3. Creative computing is about computing.

Engaging in the creation of computational artefacts prepares young people for more than careers as computer scientists or programmers.
It supports young people’s development as computational thinkers – individuals who can draw on computational concepts, practices, and perspectives in all aspects of their lives, across disciplines and contexts.

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Creative Computing[/fusion_text]