Monday, October 2, 2017

Get your child started in computer science

Early elementary students at Francis Scott Key Elementary program Bee-Bots to navigate a map
You don't have to be a programmer to get your children started in computer science, and computer science isn't just learning programming languages and creating phone apps. Encourage your children to have a growth mindset and problem solve with them, and they'll have skills that will serve them well both in computer science or outside the field.
  1. Make sure they're comfortable around technology. This doesn't have to mean more screen time—show them how to program the clock on your microwave or oven, or let them take things apart and try to put them back together. Let them know that technology is something they can tinker with, not something to be afraid of.
  2. Foster curiosity, especially around the way things work. Encourage them to ask how things work, show them how you find answers to things you don't know, and ask them how they might get the answer themselves.
  3. Games like Minecraft can interest them in coding, especially once they discover they can use programming to change the way their character looks or how the game behaves.
For specific programs, tools and more, check out our resources for elementary, middle and high school students.