How To Get Started Teaching Coding?

Learning to code is an important skill for people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you're looking for a new career path or want to create your websites and apps, coding can be a fun and rewarding pursuit. But where do you start?

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about getting started in coding. We'll cover different types of coding languages, how to choose the right one for you, and some tips for learning effectively. So whether you're a beginner or an experienced coder, read on for some useful advice on how to get started in teaching coding!


What Is Coding?

Coding is the process of writing out steps for a computer to follow to achieve a goal or perform a task. Typically, coding is done using a programming language -- like Java or Python or JavaScript -- which the coder uses to translate ideas into words, phrases, and syntax that the computer understands. These instructions are also called "commands."

Coding is typically done as one critical step in the larger process of computer programming. Computer programming involves identifying a problem or challenge, considering potential solutions, writing code that can enact those solutions, and then testing and revising the code to achieve the desired results.

Computer programs, also called "apps," can generally be run on many machines and devices, including computers, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, and more. They include everything from operating systems, like iOS, Windows, or Android, to robust applications like Office or Photoshop, web-based programs like Netflix or Instagram, and games like Minecraft or Candy Crush. Everything that a computer or device does is through a program.

Code Conquest, a free coding guide for beginners, has a helpful history and summary of the most common programming languages. In addition, several programs allow users to use blocks or visual elements and toggle between blocks and the programming language for beginners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coding gives instructions to a computer using a language that computers can understand. Kids can learn the basic programming concepts by starting with unplugged coding activities and games.

Coding is writing instructions that tell a computer what to do. Computer programmers write instructions using specific computer languages, allowing computers to run complex programs.

Understanding computers and learning the basics of coding helps children to develop an appreciation of how things work. It is important that coding be taught in schools to learn these young skills. The ability to solve problems is a useful trait in life in general.

To be great at coding, you need to have a certain level of proficiency in coding. So when you are encouraging your students to learn to code, you are helping them practice their math as well. The best part of this is that they may not even realise that they are doing the math.

Learning to code has many benefits. First and foremost, it is a highly valued skill in the workforce, and jobs related to computer programming are growing exponentially. Beyond the computer, coding teaches critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and resilience.

Why Teach Coding?

Coding isn't just for "techies" or kids who want to work on computers. There are lots of compelling reasons for all students to learn to code.

First, it teaches students how to be digital creators -- to create their websites, apps, and programs. Coding allows students to wield the full power of the internet -- and multimedia -- to share their ideas, talents, and creativity with the world.

Coding also provides students with skills that apply across content areas. By learning to tell machines what to do, students engage in problem-solving and computational thinking, which apply to academic and professional disciplines across the board. As computer scientist Mitch Resnick from MIT explains, "Most people won't grow up to become professional computer scientists or programmers, but those skills of thinking creatively, reasoning systematically, working collaboratively … are things that people can use no matter what they're doing in their work lives."

Learning to code also teaches students how the technology they use every day works concretely. Students get a better understanding of what apps are coded to do and, in turn, what some of the larger consequences of using them are.

For example, consider heavily used platforms like Instagram or Amazon. These platforms use algorithms coded formulas designed to get users to use the platform as much as possible. Knowing that these platforms are coded this way helps students understand the larger ramifications of their use: The platform can collect more and more data, and there is potential for overuse and for being manipulated into using the platform more than is healthy.

Coding can also be lots of fun and provide students with a creative outlet, and it will give them a leg up when they begin pursuing a career and other professional goals.

What Do Students Need To Know Before Taking Coding?

The short answer is nothing. No formal prerequisites or specific skills need to be mastered before kids get started. Coding does, however, challenge students to use their existing knowledge and skills in several areas, including:

  • Basic computer skills. Students will need to know or learn fundamental skills for using a device, including clicking, typing, logging in and out, etc.
  • Logic. Coding challenges students to: identify cause and effect, sequence, make inferences, and perform other cognitive skills.
  • Perseverance. Coding requires students to experiment and use trial and error to determine which commands, syntax, and sequencing will lead to the outcome(s) they desire. It requires a certain level of stick-to-itiveness that can be challenging for learners of all ages.
  • Attention to detail. Sometimes, the smallest details can cause coding syntax to erode or not function as desired. Students will need to apply or learn mindfulness and patience when reading and writing their code.

At What Age Can Students Learn Coding?

Coding instruction can begin as young as five years old., for example, has a full offering of courses for grades K to 5. Many also point to the findings of child development experts about learning a new language: Ages 2 to 7 are prime for acquiring fluency. Learning to code is like becoming fluent in a foreign language -- your brain is learning new vocabulary and syntax and synthesising them into creative expression.

With young students, there will be missteps and challenges when getting started. Young kids learn differently from older ones, often having less resilience. But these setbacks are important steps, like coding, at any level, always involves some level of failure, of learning why and how a piece of code fails and how to improve it. By experiencing these challenges from the beginning, kids learn that failure is part of the process of coding.

Is Coding Relevant To Non-Stem Subjects?

Yes! Because learning to code involves logic, problem-solving, backwards planning, and other broadly applicable thinking skills, teachers of all subject areas could consider making coding a part of their content area. In addition, students can use coding projects to demonstrate knowledge in any subject. For example, in language arts, you could add a challenging and creative new dimension to a literature unit by having students create code programs that allow users to interact with characters. Or, students could extend the plot of a novel by creating a choose-your-own-adventure story.

What Are The Best Resources For Teaching Coding?

There are many great apps for teaching coding, and the landscape is changing rapidly. Over the last two to three years, teaching coding has evolved to include broader topics and developing trends in technology. As a result, students are no longer just being asked to learn a programming language or create a program out of context but are asked to learn coding in the context of the real-world technologies affecting their lives.

How Do I Get Started Teaching Coding?

Your first steps will depend on your situation. You may need to plan the course logistics, get trained to teach the course, make the syllabus, or maybe all three. Below are some basics to consider, whatever your situation.

When, Where, And Who?

As with any new subject or class, it's helpful in the beginning to limit the number of students in the class to a manageable size. If possible, it's also preferable to start with students who have chosen to be there or who have shown an interest in computers and even coding.

Steps To Get Started Teaching Coding

Step 1: Get Students Grounded In Core Coding Concepts

Every language—spoken or written—has grammar principles that define parameters for constructing a sentence or successive sentences. Similarly, coding requires coders to understand and implement fundamental coding concepts using the appropriate syntax (grammar). It is a requirement, no matter the programming language.

Critical coding concepts include inputs and outputs, loops, functions, conditional statements, and variables.

Step 2: Pick The Right Tool For The Job

The resource you use to teach coding will need to augment your instruction, taking students beyond following step-by-step directions. Moreover, it will need to get them grounded in the core coding concepts mentioned above and allow them to see the effects of each line of code executed in real-time. That will provide them with moments of success, creating confidence and a willingness to tackle more complex coding tasks.

Step 3: Use The Workshop Model

Most likely, all of our students will not be coding at the same level. However, once we know the basics of coding and have a resource for teaching, it's important to employ sound teaching strategies to reach them all.

Coding is a multilayered skill that requires time, patience, effective use of edtech, and sound strategies for achieving mastery. Moreover, creating a computer scientist could take up to 25 years—it cannot happen in one class, lesson, or semester. Therefore, focus your teaching on the basics, building student capacity and getting them where they need to be, which is the rigour level appropriate to their current understanding and grade level.


Reasons Why Every Child Should Learn To Code

Computer Programming Gives Kids A Challenge And Helps Them Develop Resilience.

When children learn to code, they can bounce back after failure. They learn that failure isn't necessarily a bad thing, and in fact, it can often be something positive because it serves as a learning opportunity. It is one of the most important reasons kids should code, as they will learn that 'debugging' your code is half the fun.

When you fail and try again, you can learn from your mistakes. Coding gives children the ability to try and try again until they succeed and produce the result they are looking for.

Coding Teaches Children How To Think.

Learning to code teaches children how to think. Computer programming isn't just about teaching how to type lines of code. It is more about teaching children how to think differently. To code effectively, a programmer needs to use logical thinking. They need to see a large problem and break it down into smaller pieces to solve it effectively. It is called decomposition and is one of the key features of computational thinking.

Children learning code will need to take a vague idea and use their creativity to turn it into something effective. If the first solution doesn't work, they try another one. If that one doesn't work, they try again until the problem is solved. Coding helps develop this way of thinking, and these thinking skills are highly sought after.

A Child Expands Their Creativity When They Learn How To Code

Coding is important because computer programming teaches children to experiment and the confidence to be creative. As a result, they will have the chance to design something entirely their own. In addition, children thrive on their feedback from creating something they love. Just like learning a language or playing a musical instrument, children need motivation. Usually, seeing results along the way is enough to cultivate this, which happens when children learn to code.

Because coding is easy to pick up, for children especially, confidence comes easily. When children learn how to code, it allows them to be confident and create something in a fun and exciting way.

Computer Programming Is The Future.

When you look at how the world is developing, coding is extremely useful. In addition, there are an increasing number of businesses that rely on computer code, not just those in the technology sector.

A child who learns how to code will have the advantage in life with more employment opportunities available to them in the future, no matter which industry they decide to enter, whether it be in the technology sector, finance, retail, health or other. Therefore, it is an important reason you should teach coding in schools.

There Is A Lack Of Skills In The Software Industry

Experienced computer programmers are in demand, and with the advancement of technology, there are increasing career opportunities arising every day. Employees who can code are the future and are highly sought after in any industry.

Because qualified computer programmers are hard to come by, their salaries can be high. If children learn to code at a young age, their experience starts young, and they are more likely to grow up with interest in the software industry, therefore contributing to our future.

Coding Helps Children Learn How To Have Fun With Maths.

Coding is the language of maths. Imagine coding being taught in every school? Learning to program involves many skills, including organising and analysing data. Children can grow their maths skills while coding without even realising it. Using their logic and calculation skills while creating something of their own can make maths more engaging and fun. It would be best if you taught another big reason for coding in schools.

Coding Is Learning While Having Fun.

If you want to give your child something enjoyable to do that will also be educational and help them learn, learning to code is the perfect gift. You can read about why coding is important, but one of the main ones is to give them a challenge while having fun!

Children will learn various skills and, with practice, gain some important skills that can help them through all ways of life, and if they can do all of this while having fun, why not?

Why Is Coding Important To Learn?

We have gone through some great reasons why coding is important to learn for children and anyone. If you have a child, allowing them to learn about technology and the way computers work will surely give them an advantage in life. Learning to code while they are young will set them up for a successful future.


If you're interested in teaching coding but don't know where to start, this article will help. This post is intended for teaching coding as an extracurricular activity or hobby with students outside of school curriculum requirements.  

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