Coding for Kids: How Critical Thinking and Technical Skills Can and Must Prepare the Next Generation for the Future

By Philip Ballew
June 07, 2018

Talented Instructors and Providing Children with Meaningful Education through teaching coding for kids:

Educating children on matters of technology is often encouraged in order to ensure a generation of computer literate individuals who are capable of contributing to their fullest potential in our interconnected world. For this reason many have agreed that education in our modern world should feature lessons in coding for kids.

 

How one goes about providing this future generation with such a skill set is often a question of parents, educators, and business owners. To this end there have been a collection of efforts to provide children with access to ways to build on their own interests.

 

In the execution of these efforts the question remains if these programs are accessible to enough children and if they are effective in giving them an engaging and worthwhile experience while bolstering their own knowledge.

 

Providing children with meaningful instruction is an important part of an educator’s job. For this purpose it must be understood how to properly reach children and give them a proper understanding of the subject material at hand.

Answering the Need for Quality Instructors and Better Students

The question of effective education is in no way new. But the complexity and required expertise of many modern systems has meant that in-depth skills and guidance has become much more desirable in our modern world than it was before.

 

Some educational organizations have grown incredibly specialized in order to meet this new demand for talent. Many others have emphasized critical thought both in a broad sense and with regard to specifics.

 

Many parents have some appreciation of the importance of such skills, even if they themselves lack them. The question is how to help provide them with proper and reasonable options as to how to benefit their children’s growth and progress.

 

It can also be difficult to develop interest in a specific idea or lesson. While a child may have genuine interest in a general field, the actual act of educating them on the specifics can be rather difficult. Attention spans are short, and having a lesson that can truly engage a child for an extended period of time is a feat of creativity and cleverness.

Attention Must be Paid by Barry Schwartz

 

The Necessary Steps:

 

Instructors and their Students

Instructors should seek to understand the individual interests of students and strive to create lessons that can be adapted to those interests. This is necessary to keep students engaged so that they can gain more from the limited time they have with the instructor. Those individual interests can vary greatly depending on age, gender, or even on the hobbies of the student. For this purpose variety is necessary to cover as many bases as possible.

 

Computer science lessons could be presented with a multitude of themes by allowing students to customize their characters to a desired appearance particular to that student. This sort of customization is what allows for creative freedom, which goes a long way to keep interest and engage the student. When teaching computer coding to students, it is important that creativity is brought in to reinforce to students that STEM based learning is at its core, a creative outlet.

Parents and their Children

Most parents are concerned for their children’s development and education. Parents can help their children by getting involved and taking an interest in their child’s pursuits. Asking questions and engaging in discussion with the child can help them gather a better understanding of the topics that interest their child as a student.

 

Although many parents have genuine interest in benefiting their child, many unfortunately can not. There are many focuses to a person’s life and a number of people simply do not have the time to commit a considerable amount of energy in helping their child excel. This is especially true in an extracurricular activity like coding that is often viewed as being of secondary importance to more common academic interests. For these reasons  instructors, especially ones focusing on such fields, should be expected to be able to engage the children themselves and understand their personal needs and interests.

Help Your Kid Find Her Passion by Valerie Frankel

Students and Themselves

Any child who asked their parents to sign them up for such classes has a clear initial interest in the subject material. If they hope to perform well and gain a valuable understanding of the course subject, they should expect to listen carefully to the instructor and ask questions so that they may follow instructions accurately and effectively.

 

Students need to be willing to explore beyond their own comforts so that they might discover new interests they could develop. Taking a good look at items of secondary interest can help give them a versatile set of interests that may prove useful in the future. Younger children especially need to be encouraged by parents and instructors to explore possible interests so that they can start to learn coding as a kid, better from a young age.

Discovering our Children’s Interests by Paul C. Holinger, M.D.

The Start of a Productive Student and a Meaningful Education

In this extremely technical world it has grown more important than ever to have well trained and highly specialized workers. The seed of such knowledge is planted at a young age, and to ensure that we nurture a generation of talented and capable individuals educators must make certain that they are providing engaging and specialized lessons for all their students and helping them meet the demands that they may face in the future. Parents must help their children find their potential, and those children must seek out their own talents and act to hone them so that they may be able to use them to great effect when they are needed.

 

Additional Readings

How to Keep Kids Engaged in Class by Tristan de Frondeville

Tips for Helping Your Child Focus and Concentrate by Dr. Jamie Howard

Six Ways Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone is Critical to Success by Kathy Caprino

Critical Thinking: How to Grow Your Child’s Mind by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD