5 Ways to Teach Coding to Teenagers
Before you even have your teens write their first line of code, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with some modern ways of teaching computer programming and how you can best cater your lessons specifically for teenagers. Here are some ways to teach coding to teenagers.
Provide the Motivation to Learn
Show teens real life examples of the kinds of careers coding can lead them to and demonstrate how coding can be used in many different jobs and careers, and that with the skill, they are unlocking more than just becoming a software developer. Coding has become a huge part of how we do many different jobs and can be a valuable skill no matter your career, and it’s only going to get more useful and important. Even having a fundamental understanding of coding can be useful in life.
Use an Online Environment
If your classroom environment has Lenovo laptops for schools, then use this to your advantage. Incorporate lessons that use the many online resources available to teach coding. Start with the very basics like using Scratch or a similar visual coding system to Code Academy or something similar that gives instant feedback to the code that they are creating. There are so many clever and free ways to use online services to teach the basics and fundamentals that you are spoilt for choice.
Incorporate Their Interests into Learning
Using dry and uninteresting topics and programs to create in your teaching isn’t going to leave teenagers feeling very engaged. Instead incorporate things they care about into the coding exercises you give them. A student who loves watching sports will be far more engaged if you ask them to code a ticket booking system than a generic coding exercise. Use their interests and hobbies to keep them engaged in the learning process.
Introduce Them to Making
Making is becoming incredibly popular thanks to the visible outputs and gadgets that can be created, as well as the often multidisciplined nature of the hobby. Single computer boards like the Arduino have opened up the world of making by providing cheap and accessible hardware. Learning to code when your code is producing meaningful and physical results can be very satisfying and lead to very high engagement. Have a look at some basic robotics courses and lessons you can teach your teens.
Make it a Competition
Human beings, and teens in particular, are competitive by nature. Put a prize on the line and their motivation and interest will soar. Running competitions in your coding or making lessons can provide them with the extra bit of engagement they need to push themselves and create things even they might not have been aware they were capable of. Competitions to build the best application or use an Arduino in a clever way to do something around the home are both great competition ideas.
Coding can be daunting to newcomers, but it’s never too late to start to learn. Your teens are at the perfect age to introduce this most valuable and useful skill into their lives, particularly when you can pair it with something fun and engaging like robotics and making.