Kids can learn coding through using block-based coding or dip right into text-based coding. Block-coding provides text coding in visual blocks in easy to read and build format while text coding is what you generally imagine software developers building.
This article provides a comprehensive look at comparing both block and text coding for kids that are trying to learn coding. Many STEM programs already provide the opportunity for kids to learn both block and text-based coding, and this helps kids distinguish between both types and know the best time to use either. This is an opportunity to learn about the differences from the two types of coding types for kids.
Block and text coding are the primary methods of structuring code. When coding websites, apps, machines, and gadgets, you either do it in block or text code. Text coding, however, is considered an advanced method of coding, and is common among programming experts and developers. Text coding is also recommended for learners with basic experience in programming and its languages (for example, starting with Python).
Block-based coding, on the other hand, is designed for beginners and younger kids with no prior knowledge of coding. Block-based coding uses visual platforms like Scratch and MakeCode (by Microsoft). Block-based coding is notably simpler to learn because of its drag-and-drop method. Younger kids, especially, learn faster and more effectively with block-based coding because it focuses on the basics of programming while making it easier through the visual effects of learning.
Neither block nor text coding is “better” – each serves distinct roles for those needing to learn differently. Block-based coding is a visual coding style that is simple and easy for beginners to learn, while text coding is more advanced and requires basic knowledge of programming terminologies and concepts.
Block-based coding is the simplest language for younger children. In fact, the easiest programming languages for kids are block-based. With block-based coding, kids can comfortably learn in a familiar and friendly environment. It involves the use of colorful drag-and-drop functions to code. Kids can learn several programming concepts, including sequencing, controls, loops, commands, and conditions.
Block-based coding is popular in schools because it helps kids approach programming in a simple, engaging, and fun way. The learning curve for block-based coding is significantly low, and kids from kindergarten can even learn how to code with block-based coding. Being visual programming, learners can see their progress and learn by doing.
Block-based coding has been described by many as an entry point, not a pathway into programming. However, its importance cannot be overemphasized as it builds the foundation for little kids to transition fully to STEM careers. Since STEM has become a necessity for young kids as young as 5 years of age. Reading and memorizing long texts of code might be overwhelming for them and the best way for them to understand is through visual-based coding languages and colorful pictorial representations.
Kids can build incredible apps and games with block-based code. Examples of block-based coding languages include Scratch, Blockly, Alice, and Code.org.
Benefits of Block-Based Coding for Kids
- Block-based code enables learners to focus on design, logic, and application, rather than on syntax and semantics.
- Block-based coding encourages learn-by-doing
- It remains the simplest and most fun way to get started with programming
- Block-based coding has a low learning curve, a feature that serves as its greatest strength.
Apps and Websites for Block-Based Programming
Here are the best apps and websites for block-based coding:
Text-based code is the opposite of block-based code. It involves the act of coding using texts and written platforms. Text-based code is popular among programming experts and developers and is considered the standard form of coding. While it is important, to begin with block-based coding for ease, text coding is necessary, as it helps to expand kids’ knowledge of the world of programming and how it works. Block-based coding serves as a stepping stone to learning programming and text-based code can be introduced after kids have grasped the fundamentals of block-based coding.
For learners who want to understand how to code, text coding is inevitable. It involves writing lines of code and following specific syntax to build websites, apps, games, robots, and much more. In other words, text coding teaches kids the full complexities of programming and real-world practical coding.
Benefits of text-based coding languages
- Text coding builds resilience and adaptability
- Kids are exposed to the syntax of programming languages
- Kids will build real-world coding skills and learn how to code in realistic coding environments.
Here are the best apps and websites for block-based coding:
Advancing from Block to Text-based Coding
Block-based coding serves as the foundation for getting started with programming, while text-based code is the sustainability and continuity of the foundation that has been laid. Programming is a complex field, and starting right off with text coding for kids might not be the best. After they might have mastered the art of block-based coding, they can advance to learning text-based coding languages.
Studies have proven that kids react differently when advancing from block to text-based code. Some are happy and optimistic about the new phase, while others express fear of the development. However they react, parents and instructors must ensure they can perform excellently with text coding before transitioning.
Generally, block-based programming languages are the easiest for kids to learn. This is because block-based coding eliminates the technical jargon attached to text coding. Rather, they employ blocks and colorful drag-and-drops that make coding simple, engaging, and fun to learn.
Python (Text-Based Coding)
However, Python programming language, a text-based coding language, has been considered the easiest type of coding for kids to learn. Although text-based, Python programming is user-friendly, simple, and great for absolute beginners. Its simple interface and use of basic texts, as well as the provision of free libraries, give kids enough confidence to learn to code with Python.
Other incredible coding languages that are easy for kids to learn to include the following.
Scratch (Block-Based Coding)
This block-based coding language is currently the best programming language for kids to learn. It is available for younger kids, including pre-kindergarten. Scratch eliminates all textual forms and the focus is on building blocks to build simple mobile apps, games, websites, animation, etc. scratch programming can also be divided into stages to allow kids to progress and develop at their pace.
Blockly (Block-Based Coding)
Frequently Asked Questions
Block-based coding is the method of coding using visual platforms. This form of coding performs functions using simple drag and drop. Block-based coding is suitable for kids and it provides a solid foundation for kids, especially younger kids, to get started with coding.
The objective of this article was to provide a detailed analysis of block and text coding, and not to prove which is better for kids to use. Both block-based coding and text coding are important for kids to learn. Block-based coding lays the foundation and equips kids with the fundamentals of coding, while text coding serves as the continuity into a professional endeavor into software development.
More Inspiration on Coding Languages for Kids
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- HTML for Kids Beginner Guide Overview
- CSS for Kids Beginner Guide Overview
- Block Coding for Kids
- iOS Programming with Swift for Kids
- Top Tips for iOS Programming with Swift for Kids
- Block vs Text Based Coding for Kids
- Tynker Coding for Kids Overview