Programming for Kids - Some tools!

— posted on April 23, 2015 2:58 PM

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    baby-84626_1280 In the current century, it is undeniably, people are relying on computer more than ever. Let it be in businesses, cooking, investing, socialising, the list will go on and on endlessly, pretty much on every occasion of our lives. For most average kid, computers and smartphones are fun tools. Education comes much later. Thoughts from successful programmers like Mark Zuckerberg and Drew Houston attest to the fact that if kids learn how to program in school, they will be better prepared to successfully navigate our modern technological world.Very few primary and secondary schools teach computer programming to their students. As a result of this, most people who are ready to start college haven’t had a taste of programming yet. Just like Mathematics, children have to learn programming right from their young age. then their cognitive skills can be developed in order to apply across various domain. According to recent studies, teaching basic coding can increase problem solving skills. Golpin (2014) writes: being able to follow programming logic trains the mind to think in more analytical ways. I believe that debugging a program leads to better problem solving skills. I also believe these skills can be taught using simple and fun programs not necessarily emphasizing the need to learn “hard core” programming. On one hand, I think it would be advisable for our education system to teach children to code in school. It helps with the brain development, math skills, spark creativity, logical thinking and a great deal of other qualities. While on the other hand, there are communities that are passionate in adopting programming into kids learning curve by providing various means of introducing programming core concepts in general. Here are some example.   Cargo-Bot Cargo-Bot is another game that teaches coding skills. On each level, the objective is to move colored crates from one place to another by programming a claw crane to move left or right, and drop or pick up. It is suitable for Elementry students.   Kodable Kodable is a free to use programming app for iPad. The tagline, “Learn to code before you know how to read” is embodied through their method of learning programming through a fun game. Kodable is specially designed for kids aged 5 years or above, so that they can learn programming by playing games with little instructions.   Stencyl Stencyl is fast, free and convenient. It allows you to develop games by using a drag and drop (block-snapping) interface, and no coding is required at all. If you do not want to use the block-snapping interface then you can type in code as well. Stencyl has extensive platform support and games developed on Stencyl can be played on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux too.   Lightbot Lightbot is a a programming puzzle game from Danny Yaroslavski, a Canada university student. The goal is to make your robot light up all of the blue tiles on a 3D grid. The twist is that you have to do this in one run by programming your robot with a series of instructions. Yaroslavski says that Lightbot teaches concepts like planning testing, debugging, procedures, and loops. Your kids will just enjoy getting the endearing robot to light up everything in one turn.   SpaceChem SpaceChem’s fusion of programming and pseudo-chemistry in a science-fiction setting. Tough enough to challenge high-school students and beyond, SpaceChem tasks players with building machines to fight monsters, using programming concepts like in-order execution, loops, branching, and subroutines. Developer Zachtronic Industries details exactly what the game can help teach in its educators guide.
    It is interesting how programming can be so much exciting and educating for kids. Coding is today's language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead of consumers of computer science. Through these applications and softwares, kids would be able to open their mind discovering solutions to reach a particular goal. Nevertheless, it is indeed beyond shadow of a doubt, if we could bring this to real world scenario, kids will definitely engage more to think and discover bigger solution to a more extensive problem solving. This is where we, Terato Tech, try to fit in. Terato Tech in collaboration with Cyberview Sdn Bhd hosted a dedicated camp to deliver this value. We found out that any kid would love to ‘build’ stuff. We take ‘programming’ and ‘building’ together to inspire the future generation, we managed to form a Lego Robotic Programme, where your bright kids mind boggle build and programme robots to solve hands-on challenges. We let creative minded kids turn LEGO bricks, gears and motors into vibrant, interactive creations. Kids will complete challenges during this camp by constructing LEGO robots, then programming them to move with motors, react with sensors, and emit sounds. We hope to reach more little kids this year, unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, most importantly encourage them to conceptualize problems differently. Thanks for reading. Be with us again on our next post. Till then~ *Check out the following footage of last year's school holidays camp.

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