In this era of the Internet, our lives and that of everyone around us are encompassed by various apps, from ordering pizza or food to booking a cab and even seeking medical consultation or getting medicines delivered to your address sitting in the comfort of your home, everything mentioned above is possible today, thanks to the applications of programming. Even the field of education is not untouched by the internet era. In online teaching, India has become one of the top countries in the world today. The reason has once again been the strong IT sector and technical prowess that our country possesses. There are many innovative teaching apps that provide teachers, facilities such as online teaching through mobile, digital whiteboards, automated attendance, and likewise. In this day and age, it is important to introduce programming to our young minds. Just like we use language to communicate with each other, a programming language is a language that the computer interprets, understands, and communicates in. Therefore, it does not require any prior specialized knowledge to introduce your students to programming. On the contrary, it is a simple yet creative activity that will help your students develop their reasoning and imagination. Moreover, students will find it fascinating to learn how to design new games, develop a website or just witness all the wonderful things which they might accomplish by just typing a few lines in a text editor. Whether you are a pro at coding yourself or a layman, here are some tips which will help you in getting your students started with coding….
Encourage Experiential Learning in Your Students-
Programming is an experientially learned skill that can only be mastered through practice. A CEO of one of the most popular social networks today initially developed his website by copying the source code of other websites in his time and reverse-engineering the code to extract elements that he needed in his website. This itself is a testament to the fact that coding requires a more hands-on learning approach rather than just discussing concepts. Therefore, a teacher must achieve a balance between talking concepts with his students and actually giving them the experience of programming. Just like learning how to ride a bicycle, the only thing which can lead your students to mastery over programming is practice.
Teaching Coding through Game Projects-
Even though it sounds simple, encouraging students to develop games through programming is highly effective, tried and tested way of getting them to enjoy programming. Games are a source of inspiration and entertainment, especially for kids. Student enthusiasm and engagement are major propellants that fuel their journey towards learning how to code. However, to be realistic, games which your students like to play may not be suitable programming projects when they are beginners. Many games are developed by teams of coders, artists, developers, and designers. It will be much more fruitful to give them the task of developing simple games which they can finish rather than complicated and unrealistic ones.
Go easy on Technical Computer Science Sermon-
As a teacher, you might be inclined to teach your students all the complex concepts in Computer Science such as recursion, data structures, networking, or various programming paradigms like procedural or object-oriented programming or DBMS and SQL. You must however remember, that being thrown in the deep end is never fun or good for student morale as a beginner. Initially, your best bet is covering a wide array of topics as opposed to diving deep into a particular topic. This will help your students better explore what resonates with them and what they would love to learn more about.
Encourage students to get their Own Computer-
Even though computers are no longer a novelty in India, many students still don’t have them. You should speak to parents of such students and convince them about the importance of coding (while you are at it you might also wanna make them aware that students don’t need the latest graphic card and 32 GB RAM for online classes or coding). Practicing coding by themselves at home will make students learn to program more effectively.
Programming is undoubtedly going to be a very important skill in the future, even more than it is today. The useful tips mentioned above shall definitely help you in getting your students to learn how to code.