The Little programmer
(How to learn online programming for kids)
You may have heard of programming, and you may also have wondered what makes it so important for all forms of technology in all areas of the world to depend on. Well, we can start with the mobile phone or computer on which you are reading now. It is fundamentally dependent on programming so that it can implement all the options and commands you make. Programming languages are one of the most important technical fields ever in the world. This is because of its importance in developing ways of technology, through which all computers and mobile phones used all over the world are developed and programmed. Hence the importance of learning programming, which is now one of the most important requirements of the market. It is the language that is understandable for all languages and cultures around the world. When children learn a programming language, it helps them handle and solve different problems. It also allows them to train their minds to deal efficiently and effectively with complicated problems. Moreover, it paves the way for them to work in the future in the most important business majors around the world.
The digital transformation plan within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its dependence on programming
Aspiring to keep pace with the international development plans, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adopts a development plan in which it adopts the trend towards digital transformation. The digital transformation plan includes several main areas, the first of which is the public sector, which includes government transactions and services such as obtaining a traffic license, passport, or registering an online real estate transaction. Also, the digital transformation plan includes linking government agencies, including ministries, through digital programs and tools. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken steps towards digital transformation, adopting information systems and technology, and activating its uses to build an information society and digital economy, in addition to providing a higher level of well-being to citizens and residents and to facilitate their livelihoods. To this end, the concept of electronic transactions has been adopted in governmental agencies; to achieve economic sustainability and global leadership. A permanent committee has also been established on behalf of the National Committee for Digital Transformation, which draws policies and strategies related to the digital level in public agencies, and implement the required mechanisms, plans, and tools, in addition to overseeing the digital transformation program and adopting its plans. Hence, the use of programming languages to deal with all technical devices, means, and plans is indispensable.
Why should we teach our kids programming?
- Computational Thinking
Learning any of the programming languages depends heavily on the use of the logical mental methodology. Hence, it contributes to the children’s mental exercise. This will certainly be reflected not only in their methodology at work and professional life. But on the level of their personal life and their attitudes of dealing with life problems in all ways. Their mental capabilities develop and become more flexible to deal with symbolic and mathematical operations. Hence the flexibility to deal with life problems on a broader scale and to find effective solutions. In addition, it increases their ability to persevere and learn depending trial and error method. It also contributes to developing the mechanism of mathematical and logical thinking.
- Dealing with problems and errors efficiently and effectively
As dealing with programming languages depends on a large degree of accuracy and efficiency. There is no room for zero error even for experienced professionals. Hence, it stimulates the children’s skills of patience, observation, dealing with problems and mistakes, and perseverance.
- Learning to code is a contemporary form of literacy
Today, children live in a world full of technology, and they find themselves surrounded by all its forms and tools at various levels. Starting from educational devices such as a personal computer at schools, mobile phones, smart devices of all kinds. Hence, getting to know the language used to code many of these devices has become a basic knowledge and one of the vital requirements of the business market.
- offering future opportunities for international job opportunities
Nowadays, the requirements of the business market in all fields increase, depending on the developing methods in technology and all aspects of life. Whereas, technological skills are among the required work skills in all fields; Thus, those who have sufficient technical expertise and knowledge will have worldwide opportunities to join all fields and with higher salaries.
- Motivating creative skills
The minds of children are by nature more capable than adults of imagination and creativity. Whereas, one of the skills for learning and using programming languages is creativity and thinking outside the box. Learning to code will give children the opportunity to develop and use their creative skills effectively. This increases their capabilities and helps them acquire more experience.
- perseverance and problem-solving skills
As children learn programming languages, they learn how to identify problems and anticipate mistakes. In the process, they learn what works correctly, which makes it work correctly, and what does not work as it should. In this case, they should try again to fix errors and solve problems efficiently and effectively.
How should we start with children to learn to program?
The earlier children start to learn programming languages; the more possible they would achieve remarkable development and success. In addition, factors should be taken into consideration:
- Age of children
- Experience or prior experience in the field of programming
- The available time for children to learn to program
- Tools and equipment available
You can also start your children by attracting them to learn programming languages and know its importance. For example, if the children realize that their favorite games are working through programming and that they can control it through programming, their passion will stir their curiosity towards knowing and learning more. There are some games that encourage children and help them learn to code because they contain several models of their own designing, such as Minecraft and Angry Birds. Robots can also be used as a means by which children realize the effect of executing orders they enter in a tangible physical manner, which encourages them to keep moving forward and learn more. There are many robots available on the market, but the most famous and most efficient for education are the LEGO WeDo and LEGO Mindstorms of LEGO, as children love to play with LEGO cubes, when these cubes provide a structure, engine, and sensors that children can direct orders for these robots to execute several orders Predetermined by the company, using specific Codes.
- Programming languages suitable for children
There are many programming languages available to children at all levels, from command languages and simple tasks to intensive learning and multiple tasks, including:
It is an easy-to-use programming language, designed by MIT students, it is suitable for children between 8 and 16 years old, and allows children to build almost anything they dream of; as it depends on the pictures for programming. It is also a dynamic community of programmers who exchange ideas and inspiration online.
Designed by “Apple” for iPad, it is a more advanced version of “Code Combat”, with an advantage of being for free, so that kids solve interactive puzzles while learning the programming basics, in addition to a wide range of challenges that enable users to explore many unique experiences. This app requires an iPad with iOS 12.0 or later.
Learning the basics is free at first, then $ 19.99 a month. This interactive site is easy to use, and teaches children basic code, through simple and fun exercises, that make children feel like playing games.
The first lesson is free, and then prices start at seven dollars a month with discounts on long-term obligations and allow many users to put emoji scattered everywhere, in order to work educationally with this website that avoids the complex symbols of expressions that are likely to be used literally. Children learn to code by using emojis to replace HTML or CSS codes; they will have a lot of fun.
It is a powerful text-based computer programming language, and children up to 8 years old can easily use it to express themselves. This specific type of code serves as a starting point for mastering other languages, and a powerful tool for developing games, web, applications, and programming for children.
An ideal language to introduce children to the field of text-based programming, it is easy to learn. LUA is a free, powerful, portable, and beginner programming language.
Young programmers around the world
12-year-old Thomas Suarez has been able to learn the programming language and even contribute to making some applications and making them available on the app store to many users around the world. He also managed to establish a club for learning a programming language for students at his school in cooperation with his teachers and achieved amazing success
As for Tanmai Bakshi, he is a 13-year-old programmer who started learning programming language since he was five years old, and he created his own channel on YouTube to teach people programming language. Tanami also participated in international forums affiliated with TED and IBM
And in order to ensure the good development of our children’s skills and capabilities, and hone their knowledge and technology capabilities. We encourage parents to urge their children to make better use of their time on summer vacation and to start learning useful and unique cognitive skills such as learning the programming language that pays results in success and excellence in their lives and their future.
In line with this, Rowad Al-Khaleej International Schools organized a visit to the Technology and Arabic Language Exhibition at the invitation of King Saud University in Riyadh, and the students took a tour inside the exhibition to learn about the significance of the language, its importance and the need to preserve it, in addition to utilizing from the language through artificial intelligence Inserted into robots, students enjoyed the tour a lot, and also took memorial photos.