Coding in schools | Sololearn: Learn to code for FREE!

+39

Coding in schools

I have no coding background so I’m sorry if I use the wrong vocabulary in this post. I am an assistant principal at a small rural elementary school. We are very big into STEM but we currently have limited coding opportunities for our students. I was watching a video and saw a statistic that said 60% of STEM jobs require some kind of coding background and knew this was an opportunity we needed to bring to our students. I’m a big believer of being knowledgeable about the content we teach, so if I am going to ask teachers to integrate coding into their instructional time, I need to know how to support them. Coding in elementary school is mainly block coding programs. What all do I need to learn to help get the teachers started? I started on JavaScript and now I’m learning about HTML and I think I’m taking these courses in the wrong order now that I have a little knowledge. I could use some help in organizing my learning so there is a natural progression. Right now I’m a little lost. Thanks for your support.

7/29/2018 8:49:43 PM

Joseph Grainger

36 Answers

New Answer

+21

If you wish to teach children the basics of programming, start with python or ruby as these are the two easiest languages on Sololearn (and out there in the programming world). You can use this book "Python for kids". Or you can use https://www.kidsruby.com or https://www.helloruby.com. Kids ruby was actually what got me in love with programming so I really recommend it. Web design is also a fairly easy (and practical) topic to teach and the children would really appreciate this especially if they want to create something online. Whatever you choose you can always find free resources online or if you can get in touch with some experts willing to help young learners. As long as there is an incentive to learn it would be easy to teach. I really advise that you know your way around the resources and you have at least a basic understanding of the languages here. Treat any book you like as a Bible and if you can get some outreach from a retired or free programmer to encourage the children this would be useful.

+15

Guys... We are talking about ELEMENTARY school. C++, Python or whatever would be an overkill. As someone mentioned, first set the basis by teaching math and creative solutions. If you want to introduce them to "coding" I would rather use https://scratch.mit.edu For higher classes you can then teach basic control structures in almost any language (in my case it was C# and VisualBasic, however C++ is more suitable in my opinion)

+12

I feel like some people here don't know what an elementary school is. We are talking about children who are still learning the basics of grammar, spelling and math. We can't expect them to additionally learn the grammar of a mathematical language, memorize keywords and solve mathematical problems with them. Bugs are going to be frustrating and, as someone said before me, simple text outputs aren't interesting to children. Coding gets interesting when you have acquired fundamental math knowledge and you are able to solve your first problems that require more than typing a single equation into a calculator. I repeat, try something graphical like Scratch that's specifically designed for children. When I was 12, we were introduced to coding with some weird puzzle game with a ladybug where we had to write very simple commands such as "turn right when you hit a wall like this."

+12

and most of them told what I wanted to tell but in my opinion programming languages will be changing one season to another but algorithms and flowchart of problem solving methodology will increase there skills. good luck to the school children and all members

+10

If you're talking about progression and order, we have what is stated in the FAQ. www.sololearn.com/faq Apart from web languages which are dependent on each other (popular opinion for learners to start from HTML, can't understand JQuery before learning JS, etc), there is no "natural progression" to advance from one programming language to another. Some people start from low-level languages, because the absence of handy built-in functions and methods necessitate learners to build algorithms instead of relying on magical constructs which are already provided by the language, just there waiting to be invoked. Some people start from high-level languages, because the syntax is simpler, it appeals to an audience which is more comfortable with that. With high-level languages, you can also develop stuff and achieve results faster.

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imo elementary school kids don't need to know any particular language. All current languages will most likely change in significant ways by the time they are adults anyway. So sequencing the courses at soloLearn is not really helpful to them. I also don't think it makes any sense to ask elementary school teachers to "integrate coding into their instructional time". They surely didn't become elementary school teachers with the idea that they were going to somehow translate the latest computer science languages and concepts to children. So please don't take away valuable teaching time asking them to do something that they probably can't do well in the first place. If you have a particular teacher with coding as a passion, that's awesome. Perhaps he/she can make this work. But if not, I think you're wasting precious instructional time by asking or forcing teachers to integrate coding into their courses. Computer science and coding is all about breaking down problems into smaller pieces and sequencing the steps to solve the greater problem. Your teachers can definitely work on that. Solving puzzles, solving mysteries, and games of strategy all support this. All of those things are fun and relevant to children and I'm sure your elementary school teachers have many great ideas in these areas. Also note that English is the MOST important language to all programmers so a good English teacher is worth his/her weight in gold. And math too, of course, is absolutely essential. Knowing four function math, having the times tables memorized, understanding percentages and ratios...all of those basic math skills are critical. With a good foundation of English, math, and a healthy curiosity, kids can and will figure out the programming on their own. Just my $0.00.

+8

Solo Learn is best than School Teching

+8

One problem when teaching programming to young children is to motivate them. Because for them its boring to have simple text in- and output. I think block coding programs are not bad to teach the basics of programming, because you dont have to search syntax errors for hours, you can use nearly every common control structure and often you dont have simple text in- and output. (E.g. in Scratch you can move the cat). But what to do after block programming? I see two main possibilitys: 1) Teach them first HTML then CSS and then Js 2) Teach them Python Python has very simple syntax and a lot of useful functions (i learned programming with Python with 12 years) but usually you only have this boring text in- output. The syntax of HTML and CSS is easy too but both are not programming languages they are for content (HTML) and design (CSS) of a website. I think that is a good option for children who are less interested in mathematical operations and more interested in design. (there is a 2. part of this answer)

+7

Build up their brain power by: (1)having them memorize poems and (2)sharpen their Math skills. Regarding teaching coding, some people share their good experience with teaching Golang programming: https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/golang-nuts/FIRSDBehb3g This survey mentions age at least two times: https://research.hackerrank.com/developer-skills/2018/ This might be a good resource for you: https://code.org

+7

.. I think ..basic Algorithms to solve any basic problem ,will help students to think programmatically.. because any code or program is ultimately a step-by-step (algorithm) solution... And after that.. learning any programming language will become easier....

+6

I would say the fastest way to getting started for web development is to use freecodecamp, otherwise depending on the field of interest u can pick some books and research docs. pick one language that u like and stick with it . some popular languages are javascript, C#, python, ruby, java, C++, Rust

+6

My suggestion would be freecodecamp. It’s easy and gives you a good starting point with coding

+5

(2. part) I think the most children are more interested in design because its more like painting. JavaScript is for interactivity of websites. So its an programming language with not simple text in- output (e.g. Input: button, Output: Color change). JavaScript is easy but not as easy as python. And in python you dont have to care about OOP (but if you want to teach OOP then you can do that in python too). Another good way to teach programming is to use other hardware. Because its more like robotic. 1) Calliope is a mini computer designed to teach elementary school students programming. You can programm it with blocks and js. https://calliope.cc/en 2) Raspberry Pi is an mini computer too but not extra for students. You can program it with Scratch and python. https://www.raspberrypi.org/ 3) Lego Mindstorms its an lego roboter. Its pros are: Program with blocks, built it with lego, a lot additional hardware inclusive (sensors, motors). But its very expensive. https://www.lego.com/en-gb/mindstorms

+5

In our school we learnt coding in this sequence- 1. They should have knowledge of basics of maths and problem solving. 2. Using basic softwares in a computer 3. Scratch 4. HTML, CSS, C++ and Java Script 5. Python They can also learn ruby.

+5

I totaly recommend with all the people saying that python or c++ is to hard. Maybe i was wrong in my last two answer. But this is why i gave you the links to Calliope, Raspberry and lego mindstorms. Because they are interesting and you code with blocks

+5

there's nothing that can't be taught at all levels of education. just give them little by little what their brain can take and continue to build on it as they grow older. the fact that they hear the world programming or progrqming language has done something out of it

+4

Start with Python to get them warmed up first, then go in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

+4

Sololearn is a very useful program that significantly increases the knowledge field of young people....This program offers more to the student than school teaching

+4

In case you have any doubt in regards to the value provided by teaching coding to young kids, I can say from my own personal experience that it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I learned first during my sophomore year of high school (AP Computer Science A), and wish I had learned well before. It made me find my passion and I will be attending a top 10 public university in the fall to study computer science. So yes, it is very valuable. It inspires confidence within oneself (creating something is always rewarding) and motivates kids to learn more. If there's one thing I may recommend, perhaps consider showing them the real world applications of programming with cool things like robotics, AI, etc. so that they are enticed from the get go. This will keep them interested even while they are still doing basic things. Best of luck!

+4

The point of your question, is said in one line. "What all do I need to learn to help get the teachers started?" And, honestly... I do not have a clue. I am no master programmer, and chances are, you have long found the answer to your question in one of the many other answers provided by all the other members of SoloLearn who is speaking here. What I can give you, on the other hand, is advice. 1. As you probably already know, programming is not exactly everyone's cup of tea. And while I find it great for it to be taught in elementary school, I feel this needs to be said— Please, please don't make it an absolutely necessary course! Not every one of your students will turn out to be the next Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs. And if you keep them from advancing just because they fail at programming... Then you will be holding your students back more than you will be pushing then further. I know I am just a random guy on the internet that you do not know at all, but I at least feel that I need to try.