When kids learn how to code their own computer games, they reap both primary and secondary benefits — much like when they participate in extracurriculars like art, ballet, or a team sport.
Of course, learning how to code is an invaluable skill. It can help boost critical thinking skills directly applicable to other courses. It’s a string to the bow of any resume and can certainly help kids in later life as they pursue entry to a postsecondary institution or apply for a job. But coding also has lesser-considered benefits, including the personal development that comes with learning to code with classmates.
Coding online is sometimes misconstrued as an exclusively solo project: something that individuals do alone. This isn’t necessarily the case! Coding can be a great shared activity where kids work in tandem, overcoming hurdles and sharing the joy of solving a problem together.
In this post, we’ll explore several advantages of coding in a small class setting with multiple classmates, which nurtures and encourages a collaborative mindset.
Coding any project, whether a game, app, or website, will involve ongoing communication throughout the duration.
Even when kids are learning coding at a beginner’s level, doing so will help them learn how to effectively share ideas so that they can be easily digested and understood by fellow students.
They’ll learn how to communicate more effectively once coding is underway, too, by keeping tabs on one another’s progress and identifying where extra attention is necessary. Throughout their project, kids will learn how to give constructive feedback and receive constructive criticism. And later, they’ll learn how to present their project to their peers upon course completion. These skills are valuable in the coding environment, traditional schooling, and later, in virtually any profession.
As the world leans into hybrid or remote work models, with job opportunities no longer restricted by geographic boundaries, learning how to effectively communicate through a screen will help nearly all children benefit in the future.
Further, the smaller class sizes at RP4K — our weekly coding classes run at a maximum of four students per teacher — can also help kids hone their communication techniques with adults and their ability to advocate for themselves.
Programming is a team project. We’ve found that when kids learn coding with their peers and put their knowledge into practice, they can collaborate much more efficiently.
Planning, developing, debugging, and working toward a shared goal can bolster a collaborative mindset; the old adage of two heads are better than one (or four heads, in the case of our courses) is still definitely true today, and especially when the outcome is a product they can all be proud of and play together!
We believe it's vital to learn essential skills, like teamwork, from a young age. Environments in which collaboration is encouraged and supported mirrors real-world settings where software developers band together on complex projects.
As adults, we all remember feeling frustrated when a peer on a project didn’t pull their weight or a co-worker took a little too much credit for a shared task despite being somewhat absent throughout the creation.
With game coding, not only is the process truly fun and exciting, but it’s also something kids want to get involved with. But learning how to code also instills a level of accountability.
In our online coding course, kids start by building a game with their group before advancing to a solo project. In the group section of the course, each student will be encouraged to put forth their input and ideas and will be counted on to do their part.
One of the reasons we’ve noticed kids staying engaged in coding is that they’re motivated not only by wanting to succeed and create something fantastic but they're also motivated by their classmates.
When our students see their peers progressing or taking on a challenging task, thinking outside the box or wanting to try something new, it can push other students to try harder. Even a spot of (very friendly) competition can motivate kids and encourage them to excel.
Coding with friends and other kids in class can teach the importance of resilience and perseverance.
It can be truly frustrating when there’s a bug that you can't fix or you can't quite figure out what code to input next. Even we professionals know the feeling, but we also understand that there's nothing better than overcoming that hurdle and seeing genuine results.
When kids work in a collaborative environment, it can push them to keep on going, try a little harder, and not give up.
When kids learn to code in an online classroom, they’re in a supportive space with like-minded peers. Much like in a soccer game or a gymnastics class where teammates encourage one another to try their very best, coding offers endless chances for kids to cheer each other on.
It’s often assumed that when kids and adults learn to code that a lack of interpersonal connectivity might reduce the quantity and quality of personal relationships. It’s quite the opposite. When kids work together on coding projects, they can share resources or insights, and they can offer emotional support throughout the duration of their classes and beyond.
Students can start in our classes as young as seven (though we're always open to chat if you have a younger child who's shown an interest in computer programming). And while kids at seven aren’t eyeing up future career prospects just yet, coding can instill key fundamentals that can set them up for success in collaborative environments (including high school) later down the line.
All of the benefits of learning to code can prepare students for future collaborative work environments, where they’ll need to work side by side with peers and colleagues to reach common goals. And skills like these can be just as vital as the more technical, tangible skills kids acquire when they learn to code.
If your child has been encouraging friends to code with little success, and you feel they’d benefit from learning coding in a safe, supportive environment with other like-minded classmates, contact us.
Making coding classes available year-round means your child can dive in during the regular school semester, during summer break, or as a fun indoor activity while the cold moves in and frosty mornings prevail! Get in touch to start the process today! We’d be more than happy to tell you more about our courses and to give you more information on our free trial class.