The end of the year has arrived and one of the main concerns of many families is how to take care of the children until the parents can take their vacations, which in any case will never be as long as those of the schoolchildren. Summer camps, grandparents and courses to develop skills that during the rest of the year are some of the options. That is why we are going to see the 11 free courses for children to learn to program in the summer ..
One of the main reasons for doing this is that learning to code will also help them learn to solve other complex tasks in the future. It is also between the ages of 5 and 11 when a child's mind is most receptive to absorb these concepts intuitively. It does not have to be the same type of course that is focused on an adult, but it is also possible to learn by playing. Let's see some of the available courses:
1. Fundamentals of Computer Science, Introductory Course
One of the main references when it comes to finding programming resources is Code.org. It has different courses and levels, the most basic of all is a twenty-hour course where the student is introduced to the concept of "Computer Science" and explains what a "computer scientist" does, as well as becoming familiar with the more complex vocabulary that has to do with the world of programming in a playful way.
2. Programming for first-time readers
It is a basic 20-hour course for young children , so much so that it has been developed with the difficulties they may still have in reading. The recommended starting age is between four and six years with which to learn to move around a map, do puzzles and mazes, etc. Everything you need to start developing in your mind the necessary skills and concepts that you will need later in programming..
3. Programming for children (over 6 years old)
In this course it is already assumed that the student has a more advanced reading level. It is recommended for children between 6 and 18 years old . Like the rest of the Code.org courses, they are run as if they were games, so the student learns programming concepts in a fun and entertaining way. No previous programming experience is needed to start it. In this course, students will create programs to solve problems and develop interactive games or stories that they can share.
4. Programming for children (over 8 years old)
This course is intended as a continuation of the previous course. Topics that have already been covered are delved into and students will seek flexible solutions to more complex problems. It is therefore necessary to have finished the previous one to start this course 3. As in the previous cases it lasts 20 hours and due to the degree of difficulty, it is recommended for children from eight years old..
5. Programming for children (over 11 years old)
This is the course that continues the Code.org methodology and continues to delve into the fundamentals of programming. It is necessary to have completed courses 2 and 3 to be able to take advantage of the concepts that will be seen in course 4. Due to its level of abstraction, it is recommended for children over 11 years of age. It also lasts 20 hours and is structured in a similar way to the previous ones, so the student already knows the methodology and it is easy to follow.
6. Hour of Code, from Star Wars to Frozen
They are not courses in themselves, but a very interesting resource to learn how to use Scratch. It is about the program the hour of the code that proposes us to learn to program by creating a game with the theme of Star Wars, Frozen, Minecraft or Angry Birds among others. In this way, children show much more interest in solving the problem in front of them and learn to use and program with Scratch without realizing it.
7. Fundamentals of computer science
Finally, we have the option of working on all the courses that we have seen previously in a condensed way, for those students who wish to advance faster this summer and take advantage of their free time. In 20 hours, all the concepts discussed above are summarized, so it is designed for the more advanced students, at the end of primary or first years of secondary school, who will not have difficulties in solving the problems posed by the course. The truth is that the activities are very enjoyable and it is carried out simply and without being a big problem.
8. Programming for children with Scratch
It is a Tutellus course to learn to program with Scratch, a language that we have already talked about and that is widely used in education so that children learn and at the same time have fun. It is an online video course with which you learn to program using the blocks of colored tiles, as if it were a lego, characteristic of Scratch. Thanks to this, it allows us to develop algorithmic skills that will allow us to face various types of problems both in daily life and in the world of programming.
9. Let's Schedule! An introduction to programming
This is a Coursera MOOC to do online that begins next July 11. He also relies on Scratch to learn the basics of programming and create the first basic computer games. It lasts for five weeks, making it one of the most complete despite starting at the most basic level. No programming knowledge is required to start it. It is a course that has been available for a couple of years and that has become, in its own right, the reference for learning online programming for free.
10. Khan Academy Time
Finally, for students from 12 years of age there is also a database hour where they learn to manipulate data in a database and create a personalized store. It is a very basic course to learn SQL that will not only be of help for the little ones.
11. Keep cooding, app programming for non-programmers
In this case, we already have a course more oriented to adolescents who have certain programming knowledge than to children who are starting or taking their first steps with the code. The Introduction to Programming Apps for Free Non-Programmers course teaches us the basics to be able to take the first steps of programming and develop two fully functional games and a basic application that can then even be uploaded to AppStore and Google Play. The language used to learn is Lua, used in top-level games, like World Of Warcraft, simpler than C or Java, but no less powerful.
Now we only need to decide which is the course that best suits the educational needs of our children and the time we have available, because it is always good that we are their tutors in carrying it out.
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