Coding is a new kind of literacy
What is “coding”?
Coding is another word for computer programming. Simply stated, coding is a set of instructions that a computer can interpret. Video games, the apps on your phone, Facebook, and even this website are all made with code. Coding can seem intimidating at first but it’s really no different from learning a foreign language, learning to play an instrument or playing a sport. Once you learn the process of breaking down problems into smaller pieces, coding becomes quite intuitive.
As young children learn to code, they go beyond simply interacting with technology to learning to use computers as a tool to solve problems and express themselves. In the process of coding, children learn to problem solve, develop logic and sequencing skills, and build upon their math and language skills in a meaningful context.
Check out this video by code.org to learn more.
Coding at Galaxy Kids Code Club
Galaxy Kids Code Club embraces the concept of creative computing and designed-based learning (creating media, not just using or interacting). Creative computing supports the development of personal connections to computing by drawing upon creativity, imagination, and personal interests of each young coder. Design-based learning is an approach that emphasizes designing, personalizing (creating things that are personally meaningful and relevant), collaborating (working with others on creations), and reflecting (reviewing and rethinking one’s creative practices).
We believe that learning to program prepares young people for more than careers as computer scientists or as programmers and therefore that is not our end goal. Using computers and programming as a vehicle for learning has the ability to facilitate and extend children’s awesome natural ability and drive to construct, hypothesize, explore, experiment, evaluate, and draw conclusions all by themselves. In a nutshell, once young coders understand that they are in charge (of the computer!) and can “make things happen” they experience a feeling of empowerment.
So, while some Galaxy Kids’ coders will certainly go on to become our future leaders in the fields of computer science and engineer, our primary goal is to support young people’s development as computational thinkers – individuals who can draw on computational concepts, practices, and perspectives in all aspects of their lives, across disciplines and contexts. Galaxy Kids’ coders will become skilled at approaching any problem with a logical mindset, how to learn from failure, and persist at a task. Young coders will learn how to ask thoughtful, probing questions, and conceptualize and plan work. Because much of programming is accomplished in teams, young coders will learn early on how to collaborate successfully. These are skills that will endure far longer than any programming language. Most of all at Galaxy Kids we have fun bringing our imaginations to life through coding! Join us today!