Kindergarteners Learning How to Code?
Children as young as four are beginning to learn how to be a computer programmer with help of a program called ScratchJr. In a pilot study at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, children are using the program in order to learn Scratch, the programming language.
The study has children, ages four to seven, create their own program using ScratchJr.
There are hardly any computer programing courses available to study before high school. The idea is to teach children how to properly work the machines around them in order to be successful.
Most programming languages require you to type in complicated text commands. Scratch uses coloured blocks that are strung together to create lines of code. ScratchJr is even simpler, using colors and pictures to help along the way.
Although it may sound pretty simple, it continues to get complicated as the child progresses. One of the examples is to introduce the idea of programming tasks in parallel – like, making a snake wriggle across a grassy meadow while a bird glides down from the air. This involves two separate strings of commands, controlling the bird and the other the snake separately, and they must be made to work simultaneously.
Marina Bers at Tufts, who co-created ScratchJr, says that learning a math, science, even learning to write, require that children to be able to organize their thoughts in the best order. Government officials across the world are beginning to look into adding programming classes for students as young as possible.
How do you feel about small children learning how the code before puberty? How old were you when you first learned to code? I remember way back when I was coding my first project, I want to hear your stories!