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How can a parent who doesn’t know how to code select the best coding classes for their kids? It’s a question many ask themselves before registering their child for classes in a complex, vital subject.
There’s a big difference between a mediocre computer program that’s essentially a fancy form babysitting and a fun, supportive program that teaches kids the coding fundamentals and beyond. Here are a few ways to tell courses apart.
Video Games Matter
The days of thinking video games are just a useless diversion for kids that cost a quarter at a time in an arcade are long over. The video game industry rivals Hollywood in value, and the technology and creativity in the games are vastly ahead of what kids played in the 90s and 2000s.
The best put video games at the centre of what they do by teaching even young kids how to create their own. Kids can play the games they create with friends and family, showing off their proud accomplishment.
Plus, the course should leverage gamification dynamics, making learning as fun and engaging as playing video games.
In-Demand Coding Languages
All coders share some mental habits and general computer skills. But nothing makes up for knowing the specific coding languages used by the most popular video games, websites, and apps.
Look for a course that teaches kids how to write code in languages like:
Some online coding classes spend more time on programs like Scratch, a drag-and-drop program that isn’t really a coding language . If a program teaches the above languages, that’s a reliable sign.
They should accommodate kids who are new to these languages, then offer gradually more rigorous courses in each language, until kids are ready to advance to the next one. There’s a difference between dipping a toe in these languages and taking a deep plunge.
Small Classrooms with No Mandatory Minimum
Students don’t tend to thrive when they’re packed inside a busy classroom, whether it’s an online or offline environment. Leading coding courses have a maximum of four students, so, at most, there’ll only be your child and three others.
Finally, some programs won’t run the course as scheduled unless a certain number of students enroll. You don’t want to get your child all excited for an extracurricular, only to tell them it was cancelled because of circumstances out of your control.
Look for a coding course with no mandatory minimum. You’ll feel glad to know the course is guaranteed to run when you book it, and that your child will get lots of face time with their instructor because there aren’t too many other students.
The to prepare their children for a technological future is worse when they themselves lack coding skills. Knowing a few criteria can help ease your mind, so you pick a fun, exciting course that gives your child the coding fundamentals they need.