How can teachers encourage coding in the classroom?

Are you also looking for ways to introduce coding to your students in the classroom? This derailed guide will help you choose some of the best ways to integrate coding in the classroom. Read the article to learn more:

Teach your kids coding at the age of 6 or prepare your child for coding. These are a few examples you might have come across on your social media platforms because it is one of the most sought-after topics these days. No wonder coding has kind of become an integral part of education in this age of rapidly expanding digital businesses. Even though coding could be beyond the comprehension of some students it is a hot topic among parents and institutions. Teachers and parents are keen to introduce their kids to coding at a very early age seeing its prospects and advantages.

We are moving ahead of the time when parents' list of extracurricular activities for their kids didn't include coding like music, swimming, soccer, dance, etc. In our increasingly digital world, parents and institutions don't want their children to get involved with these basic things only. Moreover, they don't want their kids to wait for someday to start learning to code. Thus, the question is how to integrate coding into the classroom and encourage students to follow this growing trend of the digital era. So, without delaying it further let's learn how to encourage students to code.

Ways to Integrate Coding in the Classroom

Study after study indicates that it is vital to teach coding and programming to students as early as kindergarten. As a result of learning to code students gain a deeper understanding of fast growing digital world in which we live and they are better prepared in some ways for the demands of the future. Basically, this is why coding is important in schools. Moreover, an increasingly digital world demands that students learn some coding basics in schools. Let's see what are the best ways to make it happen.

1. Coding is Creative Too

It is a common notion to recognize coding as just a problem-solving and boring subject or topic but the truth is just the opposite. It is more interesting rather. Students' creative potential is unlocked when they learn to code. By coding, imagination, and reality are blended, and conceptualization and tangibility are unified. The perception that computer programmers are math nerds puts many people off coding including students. What we need to understand is that students who enjoy creating things are likely to learn to code as easily as they enjoy drawing or building things with Legos. It is likely that if you focus on creativity, you will be able to capture students' interest and help them naturally learn a few basic programming skills.

2. Introduce Them to Coding Vocabulary

It is a must that you make them aware of the words and terms used in coding which will make things easier for them to understand. No doubt there are plenty of words in coding vocabulary that can replace several words used in the classroom every day. It is just a matter of using a new word to label things that are already happening in the classroom. Why not try substituting a few words a day with coding terms to introduce your students to coding? What if you ask them to decompose a math problem instead of breaking it down? There are several other words that you can introduce and use in the classroom to bring the students familiar with coding.

3. Exploration

There are several age-appropriate tools or apps that you can introduce to explore. You should let them do experiments and watch out for signs that they have reached the limit of a certain app. Certain apps are fun and easy to use and children can create simple drawings and more complex animations with a variety of characters using them. They are great to introduce the students to coding at a very young age. Daisy the Dinosaur, Hopscotch, and Scratch are a few such apps to start with.

4. Project or Problem-Based Learning

Change your techniques of teaching by adapting Project or Problem-Based Learning. In PBL, students learn concepts and principles through the use of complicated real-world problems instead of being taught facts and concepts directly. Introducing Problem-Based Learning means giving students problems to solve rather than predictable lectures and worksheets. Using this type of education to teach kids coding makes sense. You can encourage Project-Based Learning in your students through the apps we mentioned earlier. The projects can be very enjoyable for software enthusiasts. It is easy for young students to create simple games and stories using these tools even as young as 5 or 6.

5. Keep it Fun

Every kid likes to learn in a light and tension-free environment. A better environment gives them more room for learning and they develop interest rather than running away from new things. Keeping them curious, tinkering, and solving problems are all good things to encourage. Try to get them to understand how things work and to come up with alternative approaches. It is possible for a child who is creative and enjoys problem-solving to become interested in coding in the future, even if they do not have any interest now.

6. Spot and Enhance Their Interest

It is possible to use coding to create many different types of programs, so make sure your child explores those that interest him or her and doesn't write off coding altogether if they don't like one specific type. It's not uncommon for some apps to focus on everything from animation, game design, storytelling, and art. The design and programming of the robots can be done with Lego Mindstorms, Sparki, and littleBits kits. Sports enthusiasts can create a website related to a sport they are interested in. Similarly, other students can also develop websites after spotting their areas of interest. Introduce your child to coding through something he or she already enjoys and show them how it can help them accomplish their goals. Similarly, the assessment should be based on skills, not the final product only. Students' creativity will be supported and the emphasis will remain on skill building, which is what really matters.

7. Failure is Not the End

Students need to understand that failure is also an integral part of coding. Share your own share of failure, success, and expectations with them to set an example. Try developing a sense of comfort with failure in your students and yourself. Providing students with examples of how you work through the process is the best way to help them learn about it. Let them fail without fear of dire consequences and you will be empowering them to be the best of the best coders in the future. Therefore when you are introducing the kids to coding it is also your job to introduce them to failure and iteration process at an early stage.

Final Words

Teachers lay the foundation stone for a bright future for their students. Thus, it will be a huge help to your students when you introduce them to coding concepts and skills no matter how you do it. It is these skills that will determine their success in the job market in the future, as well as in their lives as a whole. However, we should never push them beyond limits which means if they don't like it we should leave it for the future. For now, let's see which way suits you the best to introduce coding in your classroom.


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