With the technological changes happening around us, it is no wonder that teachers will need to develop their skills and insert new techniques and methods in their curriculum to enhance their students’ skills and keep them up to date with the needs of the digital world. Teachers should start developing themselves to pass this over to the students, but how are they supposed to do that and how should they start teaching students to code?
Teaching is different because along the tough road of teaching students and impacting their lives, teachers are also learning and gaining more knowledge and experience, that’s why when it comes to coding, teachers will benefit as well.
The technological changes that we are facing nowadays are calling for some technical skills that kids should learn in order to keep up with the demands of the future and its jobs. It is believed that in 2030 more than 800 million jobs will be replaced by technology and this calls out for enhancing student’s skills in order to avoid their replacement.
A lot of people think that the tech-related jobs are the only ones that need coding skills, which is not true, since every job that is done on a computer will need people to learn how to code. The earlier the better, although giving kids the chance to enjoy their ordinary play time is necessary, because when they learn coding in their early life, it will appear much easier for them over time.
Teachers are great players in this game, they are the ones who start the journey and guide their students to the right path. How should you start as a teacher?
It has been recently known that teachers could start teaching their students to code without any previous knowledge they have in the field, and this goes back to the appearance of several coding platforms that could guide the child on what to do, how to start, and how to handle the mistakes without the need for the teacher to do so. These platforms make it easy for teachers to follow up with their students’ progress, that’s why they don’t need any previous experience, they could even start learning with the students.
That’s why teachers should at least start with collecting as much data and information as possible, they should surf the internet to know more about what is coding, what are the benefits it brings for students, why do students need to learn coding in the first place, and what are the best ways to use in order to bring coding to the classroom. This information could be easily found online or even in books and researches. Teaching coding needs extensive research to be implemented in the classroom the right way.
Even though coding education is usually delivered through specific ways – it starts with blockly when it comes to starters – professionals tend to do it each on his/her own way. It is important to expose kids to different schools and thoughts when it comes to coding which will only happen when you ask other coding teachers and professionals what they are teaching.
Start with creating the curriculum that you want to teach in your school then ask for peer review from other coding professionals, let them share their thoughts with you, this will help to get a good analysis of the curriculum and know what you should do to bring the best one for your students. Make sure to do this before starting your educational journey because it will help enhance the curriculum and provide students with the best skills.
You might think that your students are following along but without practice and getting them into action, you will never be able to give the right evaluation and measure their progress. We all know that listening to the explanation of something is always different than practicing it; kids might wander with their minds while you are explaining something to them, so always move to the part of practicing in order to see what they can do
You can start by showing them what they are supposed to do, even though using a simple method or concept, and then give them the opportunity of doing it all again on their own, either with the same method or through a different variable.
When you start to teach your students how to code, it is important to keep it simple to one language of coding only before you jump on to any other. It is important to give students the chance to master one language of coding and manage to differentiate between it and the others before you introduce them to the more complicated and difficult ones.
There are several benefits that come along with coding, such as learning to think critically, solve a problem, make the right decisions, and even become a good organizer. These different skills are gained from the different coding experiences that students will go through; sometimes coding needs teamwork because one person might need another to double check the code that he/she has created and find any errors.
It’s important to implement the idea of group work among your team, it is believed to be very effective because students could get to ask for each other’s help when needed. This helps with teamwork skills for students, but it even helps them to foster their problem-solving skills for example; sometimes they face problems and obstacles which they try to solve together.
There are several different things which teachers could do in order to start teaching their students to code, but always keep in mind that every single teacher might carry his/her own ways and methods that could be different from the others, and it might be even a new concept that would bring different outcomes, so always build your own curriculum and concept and then share it with other coding teachers and professionals for peer review.
There are different benefits of coding and even if the students are not interested in the world of programming, they might need coding and the benefits coming with it in other fields or even in their everyday life experiences, so don’t always link coding to programming and tech-related jobs only, but look further for the other benefits that students might use in all the other fields they might be part of in their life.
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