The world is in a digital age, and education, as we know it, is no longer confined to specific guides and conventions. New digital, technical, and soft skills are being introduced, and many companies are on the daily hunt for tech experts.
The good news is that kids are rapidly changing the game. Contrary to popular belief, kids can learn technical skills like coding. Parents can either teach their kids how to code, or they can enroll them into coding classes. These companies develop simple amazing strategies to help kids learn coding and other tech skills in a fun, interesting way.
This article aims to share with you some of the largest tech companies that have amazing coding programs for kids. Some of these tech companies are Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.
Tech Giants Teaching Kids to Code
Many major tech companies are now focused on training kids on how to code. These companies, such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, are aware that the world is changing. It is going digital, and in the nearest decade, coding will be one of the most sought-after skills, just like writing is today.
The three largest and most popular tech companies that teach coding to kids are:
These Silicon Valley companies are the biggest cloud providers on the market today, racing against each other to build the best and biggest tech innovations on the market today to help large enterprises as well as small startup companies.
With these programs, they try to promote their benevolence of teaching kids, but as you can read in this article and this article there are also other considerations on why they are building these comprehensive structured programs for kids.
Microsoft’s MakeCode platform is a free online coding platform that allows kids to code using games. Here, kids can build games, mod Minecraft, and code devices.
Microsoft Arcade Games
Microsoft arcade games are divided into 3 different gaming categories, all of which aim to help kids build their own arcade games. These categories are beginner skill map, rockstar maze, and chase pizza. Each of these games has step-by-step guides and objectives to make the process easier and faster.
Kids learn how to code from scratch by completing tutorials in the form of games. These games challenge kids to get creative and act fast without missing the course. They are bound to commit errors that bounce them back to start all over again. The joy of this is in the process; the mistakes, discoveries, and milestones they hit at each step of the way.
The Rockstar Maze arcade game is set in the 80s. It is a fast-paced game that programs a rockstar to move to retrieve all of their equipment and avoid being surrounded by their fans. This game will teach kids various computer science and design elements like movement and collision/
Here, kids will be challenged to create a game with two sprites. The goal of this game is to consume as much pizza as you can before the time runs out. Kids are allowed to set their players, choose a background color, and design a template for the game. So, while catching fun, they are also learning how to design their apps.
Some of the projects for micro:bit include Rock, Paper, Scissors, Flashing Heart, and Name Tag.
Amazon is another amazing tech company that provides opportunities for kids to stay relevant in the tech space. Amazon's future engineer focuses on both developed and third-world countries to introduce kids into the world of computer science.
Each year, Amazon future engineer sponsors hundreds of students from under-developed countries for scholarship and internship opportunities. Parents and teachers can also apply to different stages of the future engineering program.
Kids receive training on how to use code to make music, games, program robots, solve real-world problems and connect with professionals. Amazon future engineer also provides opportunities for kids to interact with other kids and share coding ideas, challenge one another, and have fun.
There are numerous programs put in place by Amazon future engineers to ensure that kids are well equipped with enough digital skills to prepare them for the future. Some of these amazing programs are as follows:
Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge
This is a free 3-hour virtual challenge for kids to learn how Amazon uses robots and AI to deliver customer needs. For the challenge, kids would need to create an Amazon robot using codes.
The Robotics Challenge is a great way for kids to learn how to code, connect with other kids, and be inspired to learn more.
Amazon Future Engineer organizes live, virtual classes for students to encourage them to pursue a career in STEM. Kids who wish to pursue a career in coding and other related tech careers can ask live questions and interact with professionals. There are class volunteers who share their stories to inspire these kids to pursue a career in STEM.
Other Amazon Future Engineer programs include: Your Voice is Power, Goat App Challenge, and Alexa for Astronauts.
Google's Computer Science First is an amazing online platform by Google that makes coding simple, easy, and fun. This program focuses on equipping teachers with the right coding tools to enable them to teach coding.
Google CS first aligns with educational standards and aims to help students develop their careers in computer science and coding.
Google CS first primarily targets beginners who have no experience in coding and equips them with skills to make them stand out in the tech world.
Scratch for CS First
This is a free coding program for young people that enables them to learn to code and develop games, websites, and animations. Scratch promotes equity, self-expression, problem-solving skills, etc. It is a great platform for kids to learn and develop their coding skills.
Big Tech's Push to Teach Coding to Kids
There are many benefits attached to teaching kids how to code. Some of them are:
Coding improves math and problem-solving skills
Coding and math are closely knitted. The good news, however, is that kids do not need to have extensive knowledge of math before they can code. Although math is essential in coding, basic, simple math would do.
Just like math, coding regularly deals with problems that you fix and solve. When kids are exposed to coding, it would boost their problem-solving skills, both in coding and in their academics as well.
Coding promotes the act of learning by doing
Children mostly learn better by doing. That is, they are more efficient when they put into practice what they are being taught. This is why teachers use more pictorial and practical materials to teach kids.
The best way to learn to code is to learn on the go. This helps them understand concepts better, make mistakes, and discover innovative ideas around the problem.
When kids master the act of learning by doing, coding would become easier and more challenging in a fun way.
Coding gives kids a better understanding of the world around them
Coding helps one to understand the gimmicks behind the technological devices that we use, and the properties behind websites, applications, game apps, and social media pages. Certain components cause an application to respond the way it does. When not properly installed, it could crash the website or shut down temporarily.
When you explain to a kid that you can teach them how buttons and features are set up on a phone or gaming app, they will be fascinated and want to learn more. The more kids learn about these features and websites, the more they understand the technological world around them, and the world at large. They will be able to apply their knowledge of coding to their immediate society- friends, school, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Big tech firms invest in equipping kids with coding and computer science skills to prepare them for the future. The world is rapidly going digital, and coding skills will be a basic requirement in the workspace.
Coding can be fun if taught properly. Today, there are tons of coding game apps for kids. These games expose kids to the art of coding through games, competitions, and tasks. They can have a healthy competition with their online friends while striving to meet tasks and deadlines.
Fun activities are recommended for children ‘cause it boosts their morale and IQ, and coding is one of the smartest ways to ensure your kids can learn and have fun while at it.
Everyone should have the opportunity and open forum to learn how to code. Companies in Silicon Valley are realizing the opportunity to teach kids in order to grow their knowledge as well as build future leaders in tech.
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