Teaching kids how to learn programming by teaching them mobile app creation will allow them to be learning technology in a fast past environment. Instead of being consumers of apps, kids can become creators. By learning the other side of the ecosystem, kids can become involved in app creation and development.
Overview of App Development for Kids
App development involves the design and creation of apps. There are two basic types of applications – mobile and web applications. Other secondary types of apps include social media apps, trading apps, bank apps, gaming apps, and utility apps just to name a few.
To make learning how to program mobile apps more fun for kids, there are several app builders and platforms that simplify the learning process for kids that want to learn. These inventor apps teach kids the process of creating an application from scratch. With little or no coding experience, kids can learn how to build a functioning app!
Mobile app builders and platforms for kids are effective, engaging, easy to use, and fun. Kids can also engage in several app development projects. Some of the projects include Space Odyssey, My Kitty, Hello World, etc.
Kids can also engage in app development projects based on their age. Funtech’s project, for instance, is divided into two categories:
Indie Game Builder, designed for kids aged 9-13
Python Game Developer, suitable for kids aged 11-16.
There is no limit to the kinds of apps kids can build. Anything is possible, and if you can think it, you can do it!
Deciding Whether Kids Should Start with iOS or Android App Development
If you are wondering whether kids should start with iOS programming or Android development, I would recommend iOS programming because it will definitely be easier to learn within the Apple ecosystem.
All About App Development (iOS Programming)
When developing apps, there are two popular systems to build applications for: Android app development and iOS app development. Both iOS and Android have different programming languages, and this factor plays a crucial part when developing mobile apps.
A great percentage of iOS apps use the Swift programming language. Most iOS applications and features are programmed with Swift, and to create an app on an iOS device, you need to know how to use Swift programming language.
Simply put, app development for iOS is the process of creating an application peculiar to Apple devices, like Mac, iPhones, iPads, etc. An alternative to programming in Swift is Objective-C. Objective-C can also be used to program iOS apps.
Kids can either learn the Swift programming language or the Objective-C language. To know more about how the Swift language works, check out our piece on Teach Kids Swift (iOS App).
All About App Development (Android Programming)
Java and Kotlin are the two main programming languages that are used for Android programming. Since over 60% of Android developers in the professional world use Kotlin, this would the language that kids can learn, albeit it would be harder.
Learning java may be a little harder to learn than Python, which is a beginner friendly programming language to use.
Things To Know About App Development
Here are the pros and cons of teaching app development to kids.
It Boosts Creativity
Kids are naturally inquisitive beings. They can learn how to channel their inquisitive and creative side with app development.
Every app solves a problem and since there is more than one app that solves a particular problem, one needs to be highly creative to stand out from competitors. While teaching kids, you must help them develop their creativity.
There is no limit to what you can program on an app. All it requires is constant practice and exceptional thinking.
App Development Teaches Patience
Patience is a key factor when creating an app. App development goes beyond knowing how to code; the process of creating a successful and functioning app is as important as coding the app itself.
Kids might experience bugs and other challenges while learning app development. As parents, you need to let them know that challenges are normal, and even professional developers experience setbacks sometimes.
An app can only be successful if it is carefully built. Before your kids launch their apps, they can test, edit, and add more features to them on a demo site before publishing. A good software development website is Github. Kids can save and modify their codes until it is ready for publishing.
Other benefits of app development are as follows:
- It boosts productivity
- It encourages hands-on practice.
- It teaches problem-solving and other STEM skills.
- Willingness to Learn
- Computer or Laptop
- Learn The Language. The language used for iOS differs from that of Android. Mobile
app development is impossible without knowing how to code. Teachers should
ensure that their kids learn how to code. Swift is the best-recommended app for Apple devices.
- Intent. After learning the programming language, kids can proceed to the
next step, which is intent. This is an important part of kids learning how to
create apps. Intent, also called strategy, refers to the objective behind
creating the app. Some of the questions kids can ask themselves are “What type of
app do I want to build?”, “Do I want friends and family to maintain a bond on
the app?”, “Do I want people to come and play a game instead?”. All these
questions will guide kids to understand the essence of an app, as well as the
intent behind creating one.
- Design And Interface. This is where the user interface and experience come into play.
Kids can create a simple draft of what they want the app to be like when users
open it. Here, teachers can guide kids to choose the colors, layout, content,
and overall design for the app. Usually, software programmers hire UI/UX specialists to design
the app for them to code to life. Kids do not need to hire anyone while still
learning the process of app development. They can make a simple sketch of what
they want their app to look like and continue from there.
- Coding The App. This is the next stage after creating the draft of your app’s
interface. Here, kids will apply their knowledge of coding. Since it is an iOS
app, kids will code the app using Swift programming language. Kids can ask their teachers for help whenever they get stuck or experience a bug. With enough practice, they will be able to code apps without
having to ask their teachers for help all the time.
- Testing. You must test your app before releasing it for public consumption.
While testing, you can watch out for functionality errors, button errors, bugs,
accuracy, and so much more! An effective app is fast, efficient, bug-free, beautiful, and
gives awesome feedback. Kids can either create a domain testing site for their
apps or use one of the existing ones. The most recommended platform for kids to safely test their app
is Github. Github is a code management platform that allows programmers to
store and keep track of all changes made to the source code.
- Launching. After you have ensured that the app is bug-free and ready to
use, you can proceed to launch it on Apple’s Playstore for users.
Cons of App Development
- High cost of building and maintenance.
- No physical interaction.
- Not suitable for younger kids below the age of 8.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to popular questions about app development for kids.
With enough practice and guidance from teachers, kids can learn how to build an app through learning programming languages where they can learn coding structures.
There are many reasons why your kids should learn how to develop an app. It equips them with numerous skills, including problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, and STEM skills. It also offers kids the opportunity to express their creativity and innovate!
Summary of App Development
App development for kids is an important skill that kids can learn. It is a skill that will remain relevant in decades to come! Kids stand a lot to gain with app development.
If you want to teach coding to your kids but are confused about where to start, you can begin with app development. It is fun and utterly worth it!
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