Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Coding is the new language of communication. Many articles have been written about the value of coding for kids. What I would like to cover is not that - it is how do you get kids to *love* coding? How do you make sure that they get every benefit of this wonderful technology - better critical thinking skills, innovation, the joy of mastering something, and seeing their creation come to life?
The answer, as we have seen from teaching thousands of kids, is very simple
They should create something
Coding involves a lot of structure and details. Left alone, they can be boring. When these details are learned naturally while trying to get something to work, time flies by and the lessons are naturally absorbed.
What they create should be their choice
When each kid builds the same thing for an assignment, it is not as much fun. When the project is their choice, their creativity and passion drive them to perfect their innovation. Through this they master the concepts and see first hand the value of perseverance.
One of the kids in my class is a middle schooler. She wanted to build a chatbot to help elderly people manage loneliness during COVID-19. Her chatbot started as a simple program that asked for the user’s name and recommended fun hobbies. Over time, she kept working on her program to add new features she thought her users would like. She talked with adults, got feedback from her friends and school teacher, and eventually expanded her app to add artificial intelligence and run on a mobile phone. All of this was driven by her own passion. She now not only has a cool app - she is a top notch coder for her age.
What we have heard from actual kids:
“I want to build a website game” - 11 years old
“I want to build a program that can get pictures from my camera” - 10 years old
“I want to build a bot that can recommend food “- 13 years old
“I want to build an app to help the blind” - 14 years old
How do we support this journey?
At AIClub, we support this journey by
Having students create a custom project in their very first set of classes. They start working on their project on day one with the simple coding concepts they learn.
As they learn more concepts and get more coding skills under their belt, they make their project bigger and smarter.
They present their project at the end of the classes - to parents, friends, and teachers.
They get custom course recommendations based on what they want to build next!
We have found that, with a large list of courses and a comprehensive curriculum, we can help students chart their own path and create a lifelong passion of code.
Want to start coding with us? Check out our courses here!