Coding is the language of the digital world, and it’s important for kids to learn to code and gain a basic understanding of how technology works. In this guide, we’ll explore the differences between block-based and text-based coding languages, and discuss the benefits of each. We’ll also provide some helpful resources to get started with kids coding.
What is Coding and Coding for kids?
Coding is the process of writing instructions for a computer to execute, and it’s an essential skill for anyone who wants to work in technology. It involves writing code in a specific programming language, which is a set of instructions that tell the computer what to do.
Coding is often thought of as a difficult skill to learn, but it’s actually quite straightforward. It’s a bit like learning a new language; it takes time and practice, but once you know the basics, you can build on your knowledge and eventually be able to create complex programs. Now that we know what is coding let’s also understand what is coding for kids.
Coding for Kids is a form of programming instruction that teaches children the fundamentals of computer coding and programming. It is designed to be fun and engaging, and it often includes activities and exercises focused on creating digital projects, such as games and websites. Through coding, kids learn to think critically, solve problems, and develop skills necessary for success in the modern world.
Introduction to Block-Based Coding
Block-based coding is a type of programming that uses graphical blocks to represent pieces of code i.e. it uses visual blocks of code, rather than text. Similar to Lego Bricks, kids stack the visual pieces of code to make it work.
Block coding languages are based on the concept of a “block,” which is a piece of code that performs a specific task. Blocks are arranged in a certain order to create a program, and the code is read from top to bottom. This makes it easy for beginners to understand the logic of their code, and it’s great for introducing coding concepts to kids. It is used by many programming languages and is intended to make coding easier and more accessible to those who may not have any prior programming experience. Block-based coding can also be used to teach more complex programming concepts, as it allows for the gradual introduction of more advanced coding techniques.
Some popular block coding languages include Scratch, App Inventor, and Blockly. These languages are designed to be easy to use and understand, and they’re great for kids who are just getting started with coding.
Introduction to Text-Based Coding
Text-based coding is a type of coding that uses a programming language written in text, rather than blocks. Text-based coding is a type of programming language in which instructions are written in plain English, using words and symbols to create commands. It is a powerful tool for creating computer programs and applications. Text-based coding is used to create software for a wide variety of platforms, from desktop to mobile to web applications. It is a versatile language that allows for the creation of efficient, secure, and reliable programs.
Comparison between Block-Based and Text-Based Coding
Block-based coding and text-based coding are different in a few key ways. Some of the key differences are discussed below:
- Speed: Block-based coding generally has the advantage in terms of speed when compared to text-based coding. It is easier to create functional code in a shorter period of time.
- Readability: Text-based coding offers more readability than block-based coding. It is easier to read and understand code written in a text-based language.
- Learning Curve: Block-based coding is designed to be easy to learn and use, while text-based coding is more powerful but also more difficult to learn. Text-based coding has a steeper learning curve than block-based coding. To be proficient in text-based coding requires a greater amount of time and effort than in block-based coding.
- Complexity: Text-based coding allows for more complexity than block-based coding. It is easier to create more complex code and algorithms with text-based coding than it is with block-based coding.
- Debugging: Debugging is easier with text-based coding than block-based coding. It is easier to find errors and bugs in text-based code than in block-based code.
- Error Handling: Error handling is easier with text-based coding than block-based coding. It is easier to debug errors and exceptions in text-based code than it is with block-based code.
- Flexibility: Text-based coding offers more flexibility than block-based coding. It is easier to manipulate and change existing code in text-based coding than it is with block-based coding.
- Portability: Text-based coding is more portable than block-based coding. It can be used in more platforms than block-based coding.
- Usability: Text-based coding is more user-friendly than block-based coding. It is easier to use and understand text-based coding than block-based coding.
- Versatility: Text-based coding is more versatile than block-based coding, as it can be used to create programs that are more complex and intricate.
- Floor of entry: Block-based coding provides a low floor of entry. They are visually attractive and provide color-coded blocks of different categories. Block-based coding languages are great for introducing coding concepts to kids i.e. coding for beginners, and they can be used to create simple programs. Text-based coding languages are more powerful and can be used to create more complex programs, but they’re more difficult to learn.
Benefits of Block-Based Coding
Block-based coding is a great way to introduce kids to coding. Some of the benefits of Block-based coding are listed below.
- Enhances problem-solving skills: Block-based coding helps children develop their problem-solving skills by providing them with a visual representation of their code, allowing them better to understand the relationship between the code and the outcome.
- Builds computational thinking: Block-based coding encourages children to think in terms of algorithms and computational logic, which are important skills for the future.
- Encourages creativity: Block-based coding allows children to explore their creative side and come up with unique ways of solving problems.
- Easy to understand: Block-based coding is easy to understand and allows children to quickly see the results of their code.
- Develops collaboration skills: Block-based coding encourages children to work together and collaborate to find solutions to problems, improving their communication and teamwork skills.
- Fun and engaging: Block-based coding is a fun and engaging way for children to learn coding, which can help keep them interested and motivated to learn.
Benefits of Text-Based Coding
Text-based coding is more powerful than block-based coding and can be used to create more complex programs. It’s also more flexible and allows for more customization. Some of the benefits of text-based coding are discussed below.
- Better Understanding: Text-based coding is closer to natural language and does not require the same amount of memorization. Text-based coding helps develop a deeper understanding of the language and its syntax.
- Flexible and Creative: Text-based coding allows for more flexibility and creativity for kids to create more complex and intricate programs.
- More Robust and Scalable: Text-based coding is a more robust and scalable coding language that can be used for a variety of tasks.
- Better Debugging Ability: Text-based coding gives kids the ability to debug and find errors in their code more quickly and efficiently.
- Greater Efficiency: Text-based coding is more efficient because it requires fewer lines of code to accomplish the same task as compared to block-based coding.
- Teaches persistence: Text-based coding can be challenging and requires a lot of trial and error. This teaches children to be persistent and stick with a task until they succeed.
- Boosts confidence: As children learn to code, they gain a sense of accomplishment and pride. This boosts their confidence and helps them develop a “can do” attitude.
Coding classes for kids
There are plenty of coding classes available for kids, both online and in-person. These classes are designed to help kids learn the basics of coding, and they’re a great way to get kids started with coding.
SkoolOfCode offers a variety of online coding classes for kids. We have classes for kids starting with elementary and up to high schoolers kids. Our classes cover a wide range of topics including coding basics, programming languages, game development, web development, robotics, and more. Our classes are designed to be fun and engaging while teaching kids the fundamentals of coding. We also offer one-on-one tutoring and mentoring sessions to help kids get the most out of our classes.
Coding for Beginners
If you’re just getting started with coding, it’s important to take it slow and break down the concepts into smaller chunks. Take time to understand the basics, and practice writing code until you can confidently write simple programs.
A similar strategy is followed by SkoolOfCode where students can start with Block based coding such as Scratch, Makecode, and App Inventor. Students learn and explore the computer science curriculum fundamentals through Project-based learning. Students can join online coding classes remotely from any part of the world. The students are mentored by expert online coding tutors and the sessions are informative and engaging enough to keep the adrenaline high in our curious kids.
Free Resources for Kids to learn Kids Coding
There are plenty of free online resources for kids to learn coding. Scratch is a great place to start, as it’s an easy-to-use block-based coding language. There are also websites like Code.org, and Microsoft Makecode that offer free coding courses, and there are plenty of coding books for kids and videos available as well.
The best way to learn to code is to practice, so make sure to take time to write code and build projects. You can also join coding forums and ask questions; it’s a great way to get help and learn from other coders.
Apart from the free resources there are online coding classes for kids such as SkoolOfCode. Skoolofcode provides a complete computer science curriculum path starting from grade I to higher grades. Along with awesome classes and teachers, we also support students in transitioning from block coding to text-based coding through different strategies. More information regarding this can be accessed here.
Coding is an essential skill for anyone who wants to work in technology, and it’s important for kids to learn to code. In this guide, we’ve explored the differences between block-based and text-based coding languages and discussed the benefits of each. We’ve also provided some helpful resources for kids to get started with coding.
No matter which type of coding language you choose, the most important thing is to practice and have fun. Learning to code can be challenging but don’t worry Skoolofcode is there to handhold your kids in this learning journey. So go ahead, dive in, start coding with Skoolofcode, and open yourself to a world of dynamic coding journey.
By –Dr. Kadam Bhambari, an Educator at SkoolofCode with Ph.D. and MTech in Electronics. She is an expert in Microbit, Arduino, and Artificial intelligence.