How Kids Coding Teaches Computational Thinking Skills?


In the age we are in, computers are used to find answers to many of our questions. Indeed, the Internet helps to find the information. However, computers help compute things for us. Thus, in the last few decades, we have become very dependent on computers when it comes to either solving questions or finding the answer to solve questions.

With the right programs, kids especially can be near about solving any homework using a computer, the fallacy of which is that kids may get too used to the ready-made answer being available at the stroke of a computer key and hence may not learn how exactly the problem was solved.

However, then as is with most of the things, we can make either good or bad use. Computers offer a unique opportunity for kids to learn not just how to solve the problems but also to teach a computer how to solve the same problem.

Kids coding will require students to take a breath and understand the complete scenario of the problem while remembering that the computer works exactly as being told, and hence the code needs to be accurate. When trying to solve a problem with the computer, the problem is usually solved for a particular set of parameters, and now all the exceptional scenarios associated with the problem are grasped in the first go. Nevertheless, when the kid is supposed to code the solution such that the computer can follow the code and solve the problem, the kid will have to imagine the solution as it will be executed step by step. This would make use of a kid's analytical mind to see that the steps are logical and incorrect order.

Usually, before coding, it is creating the required algorithm; this algorithm provides the blueprint of the solution. The same algorithm can then be coded in many different programming languages. So at the heart of coding is the analytical map of the solution that needs to be created, also known as an algorithm.

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Algorithms are unique as they solve a particular problem. Once for all, one can pass on different parameters, and the code would get the specific answer about the parameters passed. When the kid starts to code, they need to test and try the code by giving it multiple examples to solve. A program can work for a few examples but not for others. For such cases, kids will need to have a way to handle examples that perhaps are not eligible for the program as input, also called exception handling.

Thus now the child needs not just to solve a problem but as a part of coding the kid needs to develop a complete solution which can always provide a solution to the problem for which kids need to make use of design to imagine how they would frame the code, for example, how many variables or functions or libraries the code would be using and in what fashion or order.

The kid will need to use his or her computational skills to see how the algorithm of the code would be for certain scenarios like arranging numbers in increasing or decreasing order. There are already some standard algorithms like bubble sort available, and kids thus need to have a study of existing standard algorithms to avoid reinventing the wheel. If the algorithm needs to be developed from scratch, kids need to use the computational ability to write the algorithm and have a dry run of the algorithm to make sure it is logically correct.

How Coding Helps Kids to Learn Problem Solving Skills?

It is often said that the best way to learn is to teach, so when kids try to teach the computer how to solve the problem, the kids become very thorough with the concepts.

Once the kids have navigated past the algorithm's development, they need to pick the appropriate language to code in the algorithm. While writing the programming language, kids have to be aware of the language syntax, form, and context. Starting with the basic program that solves the problem, coding allows kids to keep making their creations better by adding more and more features to the code. For example, to prompt the end-user for the input parameters or input the parameters in a file or output of another program used as input for this program. With so many building blocks of coding and so many permutations and combinations in which they can be used, it provides the kid with a vast canvas on which they can sharpen their computational and thinking skills and make fast, accurate programs and robust.

By coding, kids can see how logic can be puppeteered using the binary composition of computer bits and how just two states On or Off help us write so many different programs. It provides a unique way of thinking to the kid that the child can thereafter apply to outside of the computer.

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