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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Five Ways Your Kids Can Acquire Coding Superpowers Over The Holidays

Tech+-2
Photo Credit: Simon Laroche_8 via Compfight cc

Coding is one of the most important skills to have in the world right now, as it is the language that drives the digital universe. In the next twenty years, even jobs without a direct link to computing sciences, will require employees with a basic understanding of computing and coding.
Thanks to the internet and the awareness of the need to code, it is now easier and accessible to learn how to code. There are numerous ways your kids can be gainfully occupied over the summer holidays.

1. Buy them a personal computer

personal computer

Photo Credit: oddmenout via Compfight cc

Although this might come across as pretty obvious, it is worth saying. Children need the opportunity to learn basic computer skills. And no, don’t share your own computer with them,buy them THEIR own PC. It’s called “personal computer” for a reason”. If you are are worried about the dangers awaiting your children on the internet, as you should rightfully be, there are several ways to ensure your children’s safety online.

2. Buy them a Raspberry Pi

rapsberry pi
Photo Credit: vrypan via Compfight cc

For good measure, you should consider throwing in a Raspberry Pi kit. Raspberry Pis are credit card-sized computers that can be used to make really cool stuff, and learn programming languages like Scratch and Python.

What really makes them great is that not only are they cheap, they are designed to be intentionally easy to programme so that kids can learn and build cool things with them. Raspberry Pis are available for sale in Nigeria.

3. Enroll them in a summer coding programme

summer-of-code-banner-white

Increasingly, there are many initiatives in Nigeria that are teaching children to code. CcHUB Nigeria is organising a four week summer programme in Lagos as part of their initiatives to raise a new generation of digital makers. Tech Quest also has a summer camp programme in several major cities in Nigeria this year.

Not all of these are free, as you will see, but even where you have to pay, it will be money well spent.

4. Invest in games

kids gaming
Photo Credit: Clearwater Public Library System Photos via Compfight cc

Games are an awesome way to engage kids in learning a new skill largely because using games as a learning aid is fun and doesn’t feel like a chore.

For younger children, Lightbot, Code Monkey Island, Robozzle, Robot Turtles, and Kodable are good options to introduce them to the world of  programming.

SpaceChem, CodeCombat, Codemancer and Machineers provide gaming experiences that are more suited to older children and teenagers. Like we say in Nigeria, “not everytime” Soccer or Car Racing…

5. Online Learning Resources

code.org
One can learn virtually everything on the internet, including coding, obviously. There are several online learning resources with varying levels of learning involvement and complexity.

Code.org is uniquely suited to kids because it was actually created to get coding into the mainstream student curriculum. The site provides basic programming lessons and also offers a gamified approach, as it can be linked with gaming applications and other online resources such as Tynker, Scratch and Khan Academy.

If your child is already a programming whiz or prefers a more traditional learning experience, Coursera and Codecademy offer more advanced, structured and formal approaches to learning programming languages.

This post was brought to you in partnership with Tech+. Want to learn more about how technology can improve your lifestyle? Register to attend the Tech+ conference and exhibition.

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