With COVID-19, Computer science education has become more important than ever. The pandemic has highlighted our need for computing use and its power to help us all innovate and adapt. From small businesses to families, companies, and education, we all relied on the advantages of technology to survive unprecedented times. Yet, at the same time, it has shown the disparities, especially, in schools to provide students with computer education.
Today, computing-related jobs are the number one source of new wages in the U.S. economy. In fact, there are currently 400,000 open computing jobs across the United States. Yet, the problem is that the education system as a whole still isn’t actually providing the needed access to this crucial subject.
Every child should have the opportunity to access high quality computer science lessons that will eventually help them develop foundational 21st-century skills for their future. Sometimes, the best way to get this is by learning from experts in the field, like the people who may teach after school enrichment and camps. Check our After-School Classes where your child will find coding, design, animation, math and many other computational skills to explore in a safe environment guided by our industry expert mentors.
Tech has become inevitably present in our everyday lives and will become even more so a few years from now. In consequence, tech or XXI century skills have passed from novelty to an actual necessity. Learning how to code has quickly become a must in every school, rather than just an elective. Coding enables children to express their creativity through another language, the language of the future.
You may be wondering if a child of any age can learn how to code…. well, believe it or not, the answer is yes. Even kids who can’t read and write yet can do it. Yes, as surprising as it might sound, it’s true. This is possible because there are 2 types of coding languages: block-based and text-based (line) code. Let’s explore a little bit more about the coding languages that your child can start with.
About 20 years ago the MIT Media Lab introduced the concept of block-based code with a language named Scratch. The objective was to create a way to program computers by simply dragging and dropping puzzle blocks that represented complex programming commands. This new method opened the doors for kids to create through programming without having to write a single line of code. With block-based code, teaching and learning the basics of computer science became accessible to young learners.
But how does block-based code work? Block-based code, or visual coding, uses colorful drag and drop shapes in a workspace to simulate the coding. Children can create sequences of actions according to the color-coded categories they choose. There are movement blocks, control or events blocks, blocks for adding loops, variables, and functions.
Block-based code is the simplest and most fun way for kids to start learning the logic of coding. The best thing about this is that despite being a simplified form of code, your children will be able to create and run games, apps and animations. Besides, block-based code will give them a solid basis to understand text-based code later.
Scratch is one of the most popular block-based coding languages out there. We actually use Scratch in some of our Micro Coding Classes because it favors pattern recognition, enhancing the understanding of the structure and logic behind programming. Additionally, block-based coding is a great first step for kids to go from the basics of programming to a more advanced level with text-based line code used by professionals.
On the other hand, we have text-based line coding. This type of coding language is basically typing instructions while following syntax. Syntax, just like in spoken languages, is the grammar and spelling rules of a coding language. It can easily be introduced to kids after they understand block-based coding or if they are at an appropriate developmental age.
Learning the syntax of text-based coding languages is easier when kids recognize that each section of text-based code corresponds to the blocks they learned with block-based code. This is where kids will start understanding text-based coding languages and applying real computer science knowledge.
With text-based coding, kids, and even expert coders, can tackle some typical problems while starting coding. Some of the most common ones are Syntax Errors, Code Styling, and Readability. These are small and very common errors that learning how to face can help kids better understand the languages and processes they are learning.
The question about when we should start teaching our kids text-based coding often arises. And the answer is, there’s no specific age to start with. To use text-based code, kids should know how to write and read, but other than that there’s not a specific age when to start. Actually, just like in any other spoken language, the earlier a child is exposed to it, the easier it is for them to catch it.
Learning to code at a young age is a fundamental skill that will grow in children as they enter into adulthood. It enables children to understand the technology that surrounds them, becoming not just users, but developers and creators of their own reality.
Coding is an incredibly useful skill for almost everyone. It helps you understand how things work, solve problems, find innovative solutions, attention to detail, and plenty more. Learning to code at a young age can really improve the development of these fundamental life skills and open new career and job opportunities for the future. But, deciphering all the different coding languages available for teenagers can seem intimidating, especially if they are just getting started!
Since coding is an essential 21st-century skill, there are numerous coding languages designed to teach youngsters how to start coding. Choosing the right coding language for your child’s age can open a window into the world of programming. The better your child understands one of these languages (including its syntax and grammar), the more likely they’ll be able to create, design and code whatever they want. But, before finding out the best coding languages for teenagers you might want to know “what’s a coding language?”
What is a coding language?
A coding language is a language we use to give instructions that a computer can follow. Those instructions allow us to develop software programs, scripts, or other sets of instructions for computers to execute. Like in spoken languages, such as Spanish or Italian, coding languages can share similarities, but each one has its own rules. In coding languages, these rules are called syntax. And unlike spoken languages, if there’s a slight error in your syntax, the computer won’t be able to understand what you want. That’s why coding requires so much dedication and attention to detail.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there for every skill and experience level. Usually, block-based code is used to introduce kids to code since it’s less intimidating because it involves dragging “blocks” of code with the instructions you want to give to the computer. But, more advanced coders can start exploring text-based code with coding languages designed especially for them.
Below, we’ll break down the characteristics, advantages, and level of challenge of the coding language we think are best for teens to engage with code. Java, Lua, and C# are among the most popular, so let’s take a closer look at each one!
Java is the coding language used in Minecraft and one of the most widely used coding languages in the world. This makes it a great option for kids that love playing Minecraft as they will be more motivated to stick with it since they can use it to actually modify the game of Minecraft. It is also the perfect approach to get a better understanding of coding and keep growing in the matter in the future.
Java works on different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc.), and is also easy to learn and simple to use. Besides its versatility, Java is secure, fast and powerful, allowing its users to make game engines, Android mobile apps, large backend environments, and much more!
Teens who play Minecraft and want to level up their game experience
Teens who want to explore programming concepts
Teens who already have a background in coding and want to strengthen their skills
Lua is a powerful and fast coding language that is easy to learn and use. That’s why it is probably the perfect language to start learning with. Lua is lightweight and designed essentially for embedded use in applications. One of the most popular examples is Roblox. Roblox uses Lua to develop actions in the game such as conditionals, loops, variables and more.
Lua is a multi-paradigm language, which means that it has a set of features that can be applied to many issues. The popularity of Lua comes from its multiple applications. You can not just find Lua in Roblox, World of Warcraft, and Angry Birds but also use Lua code.
Teens who play Roblox and want to improve their game skills
C# is the perfect solution for learning to code while making 3D games. C# is a popular coding language used to develop everything from mobile applications and video games to enterprise software. C# it’s very similar to Java, which makes it easier to learn for someone who already knows this coding language.
C# is a great way to start diving deeper into the world of coding. Because of the multiple applications it has, C# is the fourth most in-demand programming language for jobs. This makes it an amazing option for middle and high-school students who want to pursue a career in STEM fields.
Teens who are interested in designing video games
Teens who would like to explore developing apps for cellphones and tablets
Teens who already have explored Java with Minecraft
We hope this guide helped you obtain a better understanding of the coding languages that can make your children excited about coding. If you need help to decide which one would be a better fit for your child’s skills and interests, you can reach out through our social media accounts.
“Two-thirds of all U.S. kids between 9 and 12 years old use Roblox, and it’s played by a third of all Americans under the age of 16” (Roblox Corporation, 2020). Roblox has been recognized as the world’s most popular game you’ve never heard of. Actually, this online game recently exceeded Minecraft’s user numbers. But what is Roblox about and why has it become so popular?
What is Roblox about?
Roblox launched in September 2006 and it advertises itself as an ‘Imagination Platform’. With 64 million players every month and an estimated total of 178 million accounts on the platform, Roblox is one of the most popular online games worldwide. What makes it different from any other game in the industry is that the games are made by its users. A site created for gamers by gamers.
On Roblox, the fun doesn’t just come from playing the game, it comes from making the game. Currently, the official Roblox website states that its users have published over 20 million games on the platform. Besides being a place to let your imagination run free, Roblox is made for socializing. On Roblox, users are encouraged to make friends with other online players while creating their own 3D worlds. The site inspires its users to “Imagine, socialize, chat, play, create, interact and relate with others in many ways.”
Because of its socializing nature, Roblox has been used to stay connected with friends during the pandemic. In fact, in March 2020 Roblox saw a 40 percent increase in users. And just three months later, that number grew from “a third” to “over half” of all Americans under 16 years old. Besides the unique characteristics that make this game incredibly popular, there are other good reasons why it’s worth exploring it.
Roblox is a gateway to code
Roblox isn’t just a fun way to create 3D worlds and play, it can be a useful tool to introduce children to the fundamentals of coding according to their age. The coding language used in Roblox is called Lua. This is an extremely powerful and versatile language for young children and teens, as well as adults. Lua is a popular and easy-to-learn programming language used in many programs apart from Roblox. For example, World of Warcraft, a very popular game, has Lua embedded in it.
Almost all of the features you see in Roblox are coded with Lua. Your child can master variables, functions and events just by building in Roblox. Roblox Studio allows players to write their own written lines of code to create and control individual objects. The combination of visual world-building options, as well as pre-set shapes and menus, lets players explore code and grow more confident as they create more complex and exciting things.
Unlike what we’ve usually been told, video games can help develop useful skills in children. The unlimited creative potential that Roblox has along with its educational uses create a perfect duo to develop STEAM skills. Designing 3D worlds has everything to do with engineering and design. Coding and mathematics often go hand in hand. Coding is the language of the future and as our world today is heavily reliant on technology, being familiar with how hardware and software work can be a great benefit across nearly all industries.
All in all, learning through a familiar and enjoyable tool like Roblox can make concepts involving engineering, math, science and technology much easier to understand and exciting to learn. Also, when playing the game or building in it, basic life skills like logic, creativity, problem-solving and decision-making are nearly constantly being practiced. This is why schools are encouraging the use of Roblox, a favorite of many kids, to teach in a more engaging way. You might want to check our Roblox Studio Game Design After-School Class., taught by expert game designers who have taught hundreds of kids coding and game design using this amazing platform.
As a consequence of developing STEM skills, children can find an entry door to enroll in successful career paths and job opportunities. Most careers and jobs these days will require you to have the aforementioned skills. Whether it is for an outright STEM related field, a sales position, or even a field that leans more on the creative side, your child will need to work on their STEM skills.
Also, computer jobs are growing at over twice the national average. So, rather than being a “trendy” interest, coding is now becoming a vital skill set. Coding specialists and computer programmers are often well-paid professionals. And as the world continues to turn more and more digital, this will become increasingly common.
There are plenty of benefits to exploring this popular game. Of course, it is always important to keep track of how your child uses this kind of online tool. Using some guidance when playing the game can really improve their learning experience. Exploring Roblox in a structured, safe and fun environment like our after-school Roblox classes might be the best option for you and your child.
STEM-based education teaches children more than math or science concepts, it puts an emphasis on preparing children for the future. The skills that STEM education gives to students extend beyond these fields. In fact, STEM helps children develop valuable skills that enable them to be successful in any industry or field they choose. But what are those valuable skills and how can they use them for a better future?
Before stepping into the skills derived from a STEM-based education, we should understand what STEM really means. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The term STEM has become recurrent in school’s curriculum, education policies and skills needed for employment.
STEM is a method of education where these subjects are taught together and not individually. It shows the bridges between these valuable subjects by putting students at the core of the experience. STEM focuses on hands-on experiences, making children active learners instead of passive listeners.
Skills Derived from STEM-based education
The focus on hands-on learning that STEM education encompasses, added to real-world applications, helps children to develop fundamental skills for their future. These so-called 21st-century skills include media and technology literacy, initiative, flexibility, productivity and communication. Perhaps even more importantly, STEM-associated skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, and acceptance of failure are inherent to this learning style.
Regardless of the interests, passions, or future career paths considered by children, these skills are preparing them to be successful and innovative wherever they go.
One of the skills that really makes the difference in any life situation your child could face is problem-solving. One can think of all of life as a series of problems of different complexities, in addition to the problem-solving nature of school, university, or in careers: society requires more problem-solving skills than it ever has before. STEM develops problem-solving skills like no other subject because it encourages kids to experiment, make mistakes and learn from their own experiences to find or create solutions.
The ability to think creatively and change standards are the basis of innovation. Creativity isn’t as simple as it sounds, but it is not a skill you are simply born with either; you can train creativity. Learning how to think outside of the box can change the way you approach different situations on a daily basis. STEM-based education teaches how to look at a problem from a different perspective while fostering creativity.
In a world where advances in technology, inventions and knowledge change by the day, flexibility is definitively a much-needed skill. Since technology and science change so quickly, flexibility is also integral in success in STEM-related education since they’re always updating themselves. The ability to be flexible will prove incredibly valuable to keep updated in the ever-changing environment around us. Last, learning to adapt quickly will help your student to adapt to a fast-paced career and job market.
In addition to these life-changing skills, there are also solid numbers related to the increase in STEM-related job opportunities as shown below.
(Here you can dive even deeper into the stats surrounding STEM-related occupations)
The data above is solid: needs in the job market are changing. That’s why we place so much emphasis on the importance of learning to code from a young age. Preparing children today to become the innovators, inventors, designers and coders of tomorrow begins with a STEM-based education. From schools, camps, and after-school programs we can create hands-on and real-world experiences to prepare our children for a lifetime of success.
Let us know how you feel about STEM in the comments and if you’re interested in another blogpost about how you can start exploring STEM skills from home!
We live in an era where children are “Digital Natives” – let’s face it, technology feels like it was designed for them. So, as caring parents, it’s important for us to keep up with the digital age. But how? In order to help children have healthy usage of digital tools, we as parents must assume our role in actively teaching these skills.
Digital devices, media, virtual learning and online-mediated interactions are an integral part of our world today. The benefits that the digital age offers us are endless, if used appropriately.
Children know how to upload and download stuff, edit photos, search for content, and fix grandma’s phone when she deleted all its apps. They navigate digital tools like fish in water to such an extent that it’s common to hear parents bemoan “My kid knows so much about technology that I feel I could never keep up”.
It’s great to see how children seem naturally born with these skills, but it also might be a little scary. There is no doubt that bad stuff can happen to kids with unsupervised use of technology, from being exposed to inappropriate content to inappropriate people. But the solution is not necessarily taking away their devices or banning an app. That can be kind of like saying cars are dangerous, so we’re going to completely stay away from cars. Instead, we can better understand technology, relate to it, connect with it and, teach them how to use it.
How to do our homework?
Being absolutely updated about every single app, game or social network our children could have access to is impossible. But, there are a few tips we could use to create a more conscious digital age navigation.
Critical thinking in the digital age
Children navigate the digital age innocently. Teaching them critical thinking to analyze certain situations that may arise in this environment will benefit their use of technology. Having a talk with your children about the importance of privacy and the dangers the internet has is key.
Children need to know that just as they can benefit from the internet, there are also dangers that they can detect and avoid themselves. Teaching them they can analyze and make decisions, guided by you as their parent, will help them throughout their life.
Taking care of the landscape in the digital age
As we mentioned before, cultivating critical thinking in your children is fundamental. But, just as we must promote their independence and responsibility, it is also our duty to take care of the content they have access to. Doing a little research about the games they play or the influencers they follow will give you a glimpse of their digital environment. Then, you can decide for yourself which apps or games are appropriate for your kids. Is there a way to control whom they connect with on a game platform? Do you want to limit their access to those games with a certain ESRB rating: EC for Early Childhood, E for Everyone, E10 for Everyone 10 and up, T for Teen, M for Mature, and AO for Adults Only.
Also, there are thousands of apps or games labeled as educational, but this isn’t always quite right. Products pitched as educational are also worth checking out. Organizations like Common Sense Media reviews apps, games and programs to guide you in making the best choice.
Make a family digital use plan
The use of technology shouldn’t just be monitored for your children, but also for parents. Parents are number one role models for children. Technology, when used thoughtfully and appropriately, can really enhance our daily lives. Media shouldn’t displace important activities like face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play or exercise.
Co-play, co-view and co-engage with your children’s movies and games encourages bonding, learning and social interaction. By playing a video game or watching a show together, you will have the opportunity to share experiences and become a part of it. The idea is to not just monitor them online, but interact with them and help mold their experience!
In the end, kids will be kids. They could make mistakes when using digital tools. Helping them understand that technology is great while being used properly is the best thing you can do for them in our digital age.
Find out some really educational, fun, and safe activities for your children online by checking out our After-School Classes!
Think Shrek, Lord of the Rings, the recent Star Wars – what do these blockbuster hits have in common? They all unleash the power of 3D modeling and design!
Whether your child likes 3D animated movies, video games or design in general, learning to 3D model can become their new passion. But, what is 3D modeling and why is it a good choice for kids to learn?
3D modeling is a computer graphic technique to create a 3D digital representation of any object or surface. To create a 3D model, you can use special software like Blender, Tinkercad or Maya to manipulate the vertices (points in virtual space) that create a mesh. This group of vertices in a mesh form a 3D object.
The fundamental base of 3D models are the mesh that can be modified to create any form you want. This process allows you to create digital objects that can be fully animated. This makes this technique an essential tool to develop characters, animations and special effects.
What is 3D modeling used for?
Since you can create almost anything with 3D models, they can be used for a great variety of applications. You will find 3D models in video games, movies, robotics, architecture, illustration, engineering, advertising, fashion, medicine and more!
Therefore, 3D modeling has become an essential skill of many creative and technological careers. For example, game designers, animators and developers can bring their ideas to life using the power of 3D models. Architects and engineers use it to plan, design and preview the details of their work. And almost every Hollywood movie creates their amazing special effects using 3D models and animation.
Interesting fact: Game of Thrones used 3D modeling and animation to mock up their episodes before filming them.
Why is it a good choice for kids to learn?
Because of the multiple applications that 3D modeling has, it has increased its value and its demand in the job market. Though 3D modeling and animation is still a growing industry, job opportunities and related career options continue to grow in the future.
New uses and applications of 3D models continue to be found every day in different areas. This is how it becomes a useful tool for young people to apply in the future, whatever career path they decide to choose.
Besides the extensive market for 3D modelers and animators and future career opportunities, 3D modeling itself develops essential skills for kids’ lives. This technique boosts creativity and problem-solving skills. Visual and geometrical skills are greatly stimulated when learning to 3D model.
So let your child unleash their inner Da Vinci or Michelangelo by exploring 3D models and animation. This amazing skill will allow them to have fun building 3D models of whatever they can imagine, while adding value to their future careers.
Nowadays kids and screens have practically become inseparable. Wherever and whenever you go, you can see children interacting with tablets, phones, PCs, game consoles and TVs. And despite some of the benefits technology can have for children, it makes you wonder, how much screen time for kids is too much?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) children ages 8 to 10 spend an average of 6 hours per day in front of a screen. Kids ages 11 to 14 spend an average of 9 hours, and teens ages 15 to 18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day in front of a screen. This makes an average of 7.5 hours of screen time per day for children from 8 to 18.
Quality vs. Quantity
This might sound like a lot, and that is probably right depending on the quality of the screen time. And that’s because screen time for kids should also be measured in terms of quality and benefits for your child. Apart from the online school hours due to Covid 19, your child can enjoy positive educational screen time.
Not all screen time is equal: a violent war style video game is very different from an interactive educational online game. Those two examples epitomize clear instances of low-quality vs. high-quality screen time for kids.
Setting guidelines for screen time for kids
Regardless of whether it is high-quality or low-quality, you need to establish some guidelines about screen time for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have updated their guidelines to reflect the realities of today’s digital world. The AAP’s new recommendations are consistent with technology being present in our children’s lives.
The fact that technology is ever-present in our children’s lives makes it ever-challenging to set a limit for screen time. But, we can’t deny that some kids are growing dependent on having constant access to their devices. The new guidelines from the AAP offer a helpful hand in setting healthy guidelines to help protect our children from developing an unhealthy relationship with technology and their devices.
Below, we have summarized some of the AAP new guidelines about screen time for kids for you:
Healthy role models
Healthy role models for the use of technology is essential. Children tend to mimic parents, so you are their first role model in the way they interact with technology. You can start by setting limits on your own for electronics use – that includes your cell phone! Notice your own technology use, and take a break when you need to protect your own mental health too. Try to spend time outdoors, engage your kids with physical activities, or just read books.
Rules are still needed
Kids, and even parents, need rules for the use of technology. Try to create routines for the use of devices: technology should not take the place of sleep, physical activity, reading, reflective downtime, or family connection. You can also set rules about how much time your child can play online with friends, which sites they can visit, the games they can play, and the movies they watch. Here you can get some tips to help you make the most of screen time for your kids and minimize online risks.
Get involved in their digital world
Try to engage with your child’s technology interests. You can get involved in your child’s interests by learning about the games they play or the Youtubers they follow. Explore the internet together, learn more about their favorite games like Minecraft (Learn here more about Minecraft) or Roblox. Being more actively involved can also help ensure your child’s protection from accessing things you would prefer they don’t access.
Show them technology has pros and cons
It’s always easier to follow the rules when you understand the reasons behind it. Explain to your kids that technology can have many benefits, but it also has its dangers and limits. Kids can learn a lot from educational content on the internet, but they can also be exposed to inappropriate content. Take steps to make your child conscious of what’s allowed and what’s not in their technology use.
Set time without technology
Turn off your electronics at certain times you set as a family during the day or on specific days of the week and make it a family ritual. A little digital detox can improve your child’s well-being. It’s always important for kids to have time to engage with activities that don’t involve their digital devices.
It is clear that the key to promoting a healthy relationship with technology is to set healthy rules. As parents we should seek strategies to make screen time for kids as high quality as possible. Having your child learn how to create with technology by coding, designing and testing their own video games is an excellent way to have high-quality screen time. Signing your child up for a tech class can really maximize the educational benefits they will get from computer time while providing them with a safe environment to explore tech in a positive way.
Since its release in 2011, Minecraft has become one of the most popular games ever made. It has a community of over 91 million players, and most of them are children and teenagers. But the real question is, how has a game like this became so good for education?
First of all, we need to really understand what Minecraft is. As we mentioned before, a decade after its release it’s one of the most popular games among children. What makes this game stand out from other online video games is the freedom it gives to its users.
What makes Minecraft different?
While the majority of video games give an objective or a plot to their players, Minecraft instead gives no instructions at all. The game allows you to figure out what you want to do in its world, giving complete creative freedom in what is called a sandbox format (think kids in a sandbox making their own creations in an open-ended way).
The world of Minecraft is completely made from 3D blocks; these blocks can be broken and picked up to build incredible structures. That’s why it is so often referred to as digital LEGOS as children can create anything they can imagine with these blocks.
But that’s not all – players can edit source code that makes up Minecraft with mods (modifications) to change the game behavior or use its built in command line to write functions with coordinates, parameters, variables, conditional statements, and more to make special things happen in the game. Furthermore, players can modify the program using Java code and that’s when they start really diving deeper into code while playing their favorite game.
Finally, the game has a redstone system built into it that follows the same logic and rules as real engineering circuitry. So tapping into building mechanics and electronics inside of the game by learning to use its redstone system teaches kids the basics of engineering and circuits. Kids can use this to create anything from real computers inside the game to roller coasters, trap doors, firework displays, and even Rude Goldberg machines.
Now that we have a better understanding of how Minecraft works, let’s check some of the benefits of Minecraft!
Top reasons why Minecraft is good for education
Many of the reasons why kids love Minecraft are also the reasons why it is considered beneficial for their development. Minecraft engages their minds and lets them explore their creativity, problem solving skills, teamwork and even programming.
Minecraft encourages creativity
Probably one of the strongest benefits that Minecraft offers is its endless creative opportunities. With an average of 921.6 quadrillion blocks per world, children can really create anything that comes to their minds. Encouraging creativity at young ages plays an essential role in child development. Creativity allows children to find innovative solutions, new ways of doing things and create opportunities.
If your child wants to create an amusement park with giant dragons, then they can do it! The only restriction is that they have to find a way to do it with the famous building blocks (and perhaps some engineering and code). It’s all possible in Minecraft as this popular article in Edutopia explains.
Minecraft reinforces problem solving skills
What makes Minecraft great to reinforce problem solving skills is that it offers an incredible amount of freedom to make decisions. This open ended problem-solving can help sharpen how well a child can face obstacles. Whether those problems are hypothetical or real life situations. Minecraft can encourage and expand this type of thinking. As the game allows players to set their own rules, players have freedom to find creative ways to solve problems that can appear while they’re creating projects in the game.
So children can find themselves in situations where they must build a shelter, find food or escape from some fun monster by creating the solution on their own. This encourages children to think outside of the box to figure out how to solve complex situations. This can help children get used to quickly and efficiently solve real-world problems and use critical thinking while doing so. Even schools have noticed the potential in Minecraft including it into their classrooms as you can read here.
Minecraft introduces programming skills
Minecraft is an excellent tool to introduce children to programming, as it opens the door to fundamentals of coding. Because of the possibilities it gives to customize its code in Java, Minecraft contributes to developing this key learning skill.
It is important to highlight that Minecraft won’t exactly teach a programming language, but it introduces basic coding functions. Children can learn functions like IF, THEN, ELSE, and END which can be used to build all kinds of actions and mechanisms. Kids can deepen their programming skills by taking classes with experts and learn to customize the code to create effects. Some more eager and self motivated kids can even learn a lot of this on their own.
In fact, Minecraft has been the initial step for many video game designers and programmers. Kids can progress from coding their first automations in the game to developing complex game actions.
Now we hope you have a better idea about how Minecraft can be a really useful educational tool for children. Learning with it can prepare kids for the future by building core skills like critical thinking, problem solving and creativity. It can also even be an amazing tool to learn other skills such as math (think 3 dimensional geometry!)
To take learning in Minecraft to the next level, you can explore some of CodeREV Kids’ classes. Your child can start turning their passion into real promise!
Since technology has become present in our lives, dominating coding languages has become a need for adults and children. Indeed, programming for youngsters is turning into an undeniably necessary subject. Learning how to code at a young age can genuinely set your kid up for success. They don’t just develop basic coding skills, but skills for the rest of their life.
Today, even kindergartners can start exploring different coding languages that fit their age needs. Learning code abilities at a young age will impact their development in STEM, and so forth, in their future careers. Also, studies have shown that coding reinforces skills like problem solving, logic, creativity and critical thinking.
A parent’s guide to coding languages
In any case, each coding language has its own working framework, style and expected use. But in general, these languages show kids how to track down an answer for an issue using an arrangement of steps, activities or directions.
Generally, children tend to quickly become familiar with coding languages designed for them. Kids learn better through visual boost and this is the reason why graphical programming programs turn out better for beginners. Once children understand fundamental coding concepts, they can move to text-based programming languages (line coding) and learn the syntax of various programming languages.
But, how to choose the best coding language for your child?
It might be hard to decide the best way to introduce your child to code. That’s why we made our top 3 of what we consider the best coding languages for kids! Check it out with us, and feel free to ask us any questions you have to help you choose the best coding class for your child.
Scratch is a free educational programming language developed by Mitch Resnick and patented by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Learning to code with Scratch is easy for kids because of it’s intuitive, easy-to-use visual block interface. This makes it an amazing starting point for kids to start connecting with code.
The simplification of the process of designing games and creating stories and their big online community makes Scratch the perfect coding language to introduce your child to code from ages 6 to 16.
Lua is the perfect coding language to introduce children to text-based code since it’s easy to learn, use, and embed into applications. The power of Lua coding is that with a beginner-friendly language, it introduces simple concepts that can turn into greater creations.
In addition to its simplicity and efficiency, Lua is used by Roblox which is a game platform adored by kids. Learning to code with Lua in Roblox, allows kids to create exciting and fun games that they can share with all their friends.
Java is one of the most used coding languages in the world. Gmail, by Google, and Twitter, for example, were created in Java, as well as one of the most popular computer games nowadays: Minecraft! If your child is into Minecraft, Java can be a great programming language to create with.
Java gives a richer insight of coding as it’s designed to continue developing over the years. Although it’s harder to learn because of its variables, Java catches children’s excitement as it is widely used to make video games and mobile apps. It is also a great entry level object oriented programming language, typically focused on CS programs later in school. Its scalability makes it perfect for kids from 10 to 16.
These days, learning to code is a priceless and useful skill for kids. Understanding how something works, how to solve problems and being able to create new scenarios has a myriad of benefits for budding young programmers.. Regardless of the age of your child, there’s a perfect coding language they can start exploring to open a world of opportunities. Do you have any questions, comments, or suggestions? If so, we’d love to hear from you!