Publish in core platform
Digital technology / specialisationSoftware Digital skills
Digital skill levelBasic
Geographic Scope - CountryMalta
Type of initiative
Article by Claude Calleja Executive at eSkills Malta Foundation
One of the first questions that come to mind when thinking about programming for children is: “How does one teach children how to program?”. The answer lies in what children learn in the children’s programming class. They learn a lot about problem-solving, programming skills and about being part of a team.
Programming courses encourage curiosity, which helps children to be more confident, creative and resilient later in life. Coding teaches children how to build with cause and effect in mind so that things work and are adapted for specific purposes. It encourages children to think outside the box and sends them the message that they can create anything. This allows children to ask, “What happens if I do this?” and they create and learn how things really work.
Learning programming is easy and fun, and in fact, programming books can be a great way to introduce children to the world of programming. If parents succeed in teaching programming skills through games and game-based strategies, their children will find it easy and fun. Over time, children will learn basic programming concepts, build fun games, gain a competitive edge, and learn the basics of programming concepts.
When children can program, they can develop apps, video games and websites. Creating a website or a simple game with an app like Kudo will help children solve problems in a way that improves problems solving through coding. While teaching children about programming may sometimes seem daunting and impossible, it will open opportunities for them in the long run.
The great thing about app programming is that it can be used for children of all ages to program. Online sites such as Udemy is a great resource for learning basic programming skills. Coding for Kids is an excellent resource for children to learn to program and thus discover how to interact with computers. This equips them for a variety of different professional fields in which they can use these skills to make life easier for themselves and their families.
Object-oriented programming is the preferred type of programming that children learn if they ever want to become professional programmers. Even if a child never becomes a software engineer, they will still benefit from knowing how to solve problems. The practical aspect of a programming language is also important, as the right programming languages taught to children enable their creative instincts without restricting them.
It is important that students learn not only how to write code, but also how to use the constructs and tricks of the craft. Once children and students learn about programming, one would want them to have a basic understanding of how to think as a programmer. This could be the first step to introducing children to the concept of coding before moving on to the next step that teaches them about code and how it works.
The eSkills Malta Foundation believes that children should learn to program and start programming as early as preschool age. One can easily teach their children how to code through a computer or even board games. Once one understands the meaning of coding, they will get a much better understanding of its benefit for their children.
Taking computer-related courses in secondary level education is also a good start. Following that, computer courses may be found at every education level namely at M.C.A.S.T., private training institutions and the various sixth forms and universities. Many schemes also exist to partially or fully fund specific courses carried out by private institutions. In fact, the eSkills Malta Foundation recently brokered free Amazon Web Service courses funded by the Melita Foundation.
Therefore, we must conclude that it has never been easier and cheaper to acquire coding skills which will undoubtedly be of great use later in everyone’s life. There is never anything lost when acquiring a new skill.