How to start learning programming for a child – experts answer
There are two actors in the issue of teaching children programming: a child and a parent. A child who wants to learn how to create games, and a parent who heard that a programmer is a profession in demand, and therefore mom or dad are ready to support the interest of the child.
But neither the child, nor the parent (the parent to a greater extent) basically have no idea about the IT sphere, programmers, except that the IT specialist can reinstall Windows, repair the computer, and develop a website or game.
In the matter of learning programming, first of all, the child and the parent (yes, it is important that the parent also) needs to be told in a simple language about the IT sphere. That when creating any IT-projects, including games, a team of different specialists works, each of whom is responsible for his part: someone for the schedule, someone for the code and programming, someone for the script, someone takes over administrative tasks and so on. It is important to tell in plain language, showing that the process of creating projects is not so complicated, the main thing is to split the project into subprojects and begin to implement it in the right algorithm.
Secondly, it is necessary to tell in more detail about the results of the work of programmers, designers and all other IT specialists.
To do this, you can show children examples of work and IT products: beautiful sites, video teasers of famous games, programs for working with graphics (also created by programmers), graphic drawings and animations.
Thirdly, after the first two stages, it is necessary to ask the child a question, specifying where he would like to start studying, and there will be this programming or, for example, a schedule, there is no difference. After all, the main thing is that it is the beginning of the study and familiarity with IT that is based on the individual characteristics and desire of the child. That is, we create the most comfortable threshold for the child when entering the IT sphere and programming.
Further, before children or adolescents try to code in one of the programming languages or draw and animate in special programs (Photoshop or After Effects), it is worthwhile to introduce the child to programs that are aimed at making children learn to think algorithmically as programmers, it will be useful not only when writing code, but also when creating any projects.
For this, you can use resources such as Scratch, Code Combat, Tynker. This is all – visual software packages aimed at teaching children programming and algorithmic thinking, but at the same time, the children will not have to resort to the syntax of a programming language (code). In these environments you can create games, animations and immediately see the results of your actions (which is important for children while maintaining interest in something).
During the training, children choose an element of a game or animation (background, character, in general, any element) and set an algorithm for the movement and interaction of this element with other elements of the project. Next, the next element of the project is programmed and so on. It turns out simple animations and games: “Cat and Mouse”, “Tanchiki”, “Star Wars” and many other cool projects.