Learning how to code is probably one of the surest ways to be ready for the jobs of the future. From developing apps to building video games or jobs in countless other industries, an entire world of work is available when you have the right computer skills.
Parents are looking now more than ever to prepare their kids for the jobs of tomorrow in ways that are fun today. After what has been an extremely difficult and challenging year and a half, children need to be prevented from slipping through cracks in their education, but they also need joy, and for the learning they do to be rewarding.
There are a lot of different online and in person programs that you can find on Coding Bootcamps. Make sure you explore all your options before you commit. Now, let’s read about how kids can get the best of both worlds by enrolling in online coding programs that have these five things in common.
- Coding Lessons Oriented Around Programming Video Games
Students learn best when motivated by a compelling carrot, such as building a video game that can be played and shared with friends. Video games have always had a strong hold on children and teens, ever since the days of arcades at the mall.
There’s nothing wrong with the classic games of old! But today’s video games are so much more immersive and the graphics so improved that kids today can’t be blamed for finding them so compelling. Video games today combine several arts, such as design, writing, and, of course, coding.
When children create their own video games, they feel a sense of rewarding agency that is difficult to achieve any other way. If beating a game’s final level gives a sense of accomplishment, imagine what programming it feels like!
Look for a program that lets children learn valuable skills at home around the creation of a video game, so kids are genuinely driven to learn.
- Professional Coding Languages
Some basic coding courses teach kids programs like “Scratch,” which isn’t a coding language that professionals ever use to build video games or apps. In fact, it’s only a drag-and-drop program meant to give kids a sense of what coding is like.
Be on the lookout for a program that only deals in real coding languages, such as:
It may be surprising to some, but coding languages that are perfectly suitable for young children to learn, like Python, are also used to build popular video games. For example, the game World of Tanks is built partially on Python and has been played by well over 100 million people.
Python is also the programming basis for many of the most popular websites, like YouTube. Internet giants rely on Python to build aspects of their products, like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, and even Netflix.
When children have fun learning languages used to build fintech, mobile apps, machine learning, and more, they’ll be ready for the future.
Low Ratio of Students Per Teacher
Who hasn’t sat down for a Zoom meeting with multiple participants and rolled their eyes amid all the disorder? It’s not hard to imagine why classrooms with a lower ratio of students per teacher are more effective.
Learning a new coding language is hard, as is learning its complexities as you advance from the basics. Having to fight for your teacher’s attention only adds unnecessarily to the difficulties.
Look for a programming course that has a maximum of four students per teacher, so their teacher can give them all the focus and concentration they deserve.
Young, Relatable Teachers
Did you ever have teachers who knew the material thoroughly but just couldn’t make it relatable for students? It doesn’t matter if you’re a Noble Prize-winning writer if you can’t make literature relatable and compelling for students.
Ideally, the online programming school you connect with features teachers who are old enough to have developed expertise through their studies and work and young enough to have also grown-up playing video games when they were young. Frequently, this means students in Computer Science and Computer Engineering.
The pure nostalgia of childhood gaming is something that must be experienced to be fully understood. Teachers who lived through it, taken post-secondary studies, and often have work experience as coders are the best coding teachers for kids.
Teachers with such experience can also give them a lot of practical advice about what to expect in programming courses in high school and beyond and answer any questions they may have about jobs available to coders.
Look for a program that has teachers trained on a proprietary curriculum that has evolved over the years. If the program has teachers that used to be students at that same school, it’s a good sign!
Loads of Experience Teaching Online
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many students were forced to learn online after in-class sessions were cancelled. As a result, teachers had to scramble to begin teaching online, often with mixed results.
To be sure, teachers tried their hardest and gave it their all under very challenging circumstances! But there simply isn’t a switch you can hit to transition from one mode to the other instantly.
Online teaching involves different pedagogy and platforms than what is used in a classroom. Look for an online coding camp that has years or even decades of experience teaching kids coding remotely, not just a business that popped up in response to a recent need.
It’s common for parents to want their children to be ready for what lies ahead, so many choose to enroll their kids in computer programs that teach how to code.
It can be a little daunting for parents who aren’t knowledgeable in technology or computers, and even those who do know how to code may struggle to differentiate one coding program from another. If you sign your child up for an online coding class that meets all the criteria listed above, they’ll have a lot of fun learning computer skills the future will need.