As we discussed in Episode 3, young kids can start learning to program and understanding concepts such as conditionals and loops, where the code makes decisions or repeats itself to solve a problem. Yes kids from as young as 4 years old can learn using program such as Scratch Jr.
In Episode 4, parents discuss why learning to code early helps kids to adapt to changes to future digital platforms down the road in their formal school class learning.
They can learn to apply coding concepts through the “gamification” of their real life activities in school and at home – like in the demo by 9 year old Aiden on how to use Scratch Jr. to add excitement to his 3D racing game. These learnings can be applied to practical formal class learnings in drama, music and science – no limit to how youth can use Scratch Jr in a creative way.
For kids to learn the basic concepts of loops and conditionals, you need to pick the right program. There’s lots of programming languages out there – some which can be really complex to write and understand. To get kids focused on the things that matter – concepts, we use something like Scratch, developed by MIT, where visual blocks means kids don’t have to worry about syntax, special coding symbols, or memorizing functions names.
With Scratch, the logic options are laid out in front of them. Grouping logic together is like putting Lego blocks of instructions together. It’s really an ideal language to teach coding concepts.
About the Featured Parents
Parents, Cheng Chang and Jennifer Lam discuss the types of programs for young kids to learn coding at an early age. Aiden, age 9, is programming some animation for his 3-D race game in Scratch. Jennifer is a co-founder of Discover Coding.
You can contact Jennifer Lam in our Connect Forum at FutureCite.com with your questions and inquiries on coding for youth!