Monthly Archives: March 2013

Teaching Kids to Program

Should we teach our kids computer programming? I believe we should, even though their future careers will not be in computers. Computer programming teaches kids logic, mathematics and computation, design, and creativity — skills that are necessary in any chosen profession.

Many will argue that kids these days are very computer savvy. They can easily figure out how an app on a computer, tablet, or iPhone works. I totally agree with them. However, for the most part, they are consumers or users of the technology. Being a creator is totally different. Creating or programming an app is a skill that is learned and developed over the years.

Recently, I took on the task of teaching my eleven year old daughter computer programming, since her school is not teaching them programming. At least not yet. I believe that the earlier you teach your kids computer programming, the better they will be. It’s not that I wanted my daughter to be a nerd, or take up a computer career. I just wanted her to learn a very valuable skill — a skill that will be very useful for her future. We all know that the future will be dominated by computer technology.

Teaching kids to program is easier than you think. There is a program called Scratch that was created by MIT to basically teach kids or any beginner to program. From their website: “Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.”

I used a book called Super Scratch Programming Adventure!: Learn to Program By Making Cool Games by the Lead Project to teach my daughter Scratch. I was glad that she got totally engaged in Scratch. Up next, Python programming for kids.