CODING FOR TEENS: How to get teenagers excited about Learning to Code 

In our last blog post, we explained why teenagers should learn to code. We also touched briefly on the difficulties of getting teenagers excited about coding. In this blog, we will show how to get teenagers excited about learning to code.

Initially, teens may be reluctant at the suggestion of getting into coding and understandably so. Most teenagers these days are hooked on gaming, social media, sports or just socializing. 

So why would they swap hanging out with their friends at the mall, playing Fortnite all day or chatting with friends online for the binary world of coding because their parents say so?

Typically parental influence on children wanes the deeper they go into adolescence. Usually, during the teen years, they start to separate from mom and dad and become more independent. They become increasingly aware of how others, especially their peers, see them and are desperately trying to fit in.

Losing that grip, especially as it relates to them making decisions, is scary for some parents. 

But you can use that independence to your advantage. 

Take them to Coding Competitions

You don’t need to know how to code to attend a hackathon. The coding community is pretty close-knit, and participants are usually friendly and happy to pitch in and show what they are doing. 

It’s a good first step as teens are more influenced by their peers. So attending a hackathon and seeing other teens code can provide inspiration to learn more about coding. 

There are several hackathons each year, and they are easy to find on the Microsoft events website or even Eventbrite.

Get them to join Coding Clubs

Like coding competitions, joining a coding club is a great way for teens to get positive outside influence by building relationships with people of similar interests. 

Coding clubs are generally safe, fun learning environments that foster camaraderie amongst club members. 

Some clubs also feature a mentorship component, which encourages and guides teens through their coding journey.

Buy them Coding Books

Hopefully after attending hackathons or joining a coding club your teen gains inspiration to learn how to code. The next step you could take is the mild one of buying them books to help them to learn to code. 

Even with the popularity of online courses, there is nothing like a good book. Reading books will help them to concentrate more and feel a sense of achievement as they progress through the pages.

There are a plethora of coding books out there that are readily available for purchase on Amazon or eBay.

Choosing a Coding Language

A programming language comprises a set of instructions that produce various kinds of output for computers. 

Like coding books, there are plenty of coding languages to choose from which makes it hard to choose one to study.

Some parents choose Python for their teens because its focus on data and math has the potential to improve their math skills which is crucial during the high school years.

However, most people start their coding journeys with the commonly used HTML, CSS, and Javascript since these are some of the programming languages that produce results quickly.

Some people may want to specialize in one language, but perhaps they should familiarize themselves with as many of them as possible. Learning different coding languages will create the flexibility to choose the right language to solve a particular problem.

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language is widely known as the most basic coding language to learn. While simple and easy to learn, HTML is quite powerful.

It controls how elements such as colors, fonts, hyperlinks, and graphics, appear on a website. If web development piques your teen’s interest, which is likely, this is one of the languages that they should learn.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets is another key language to learn for web development. It lessens the amount of coding required to run a website but outlining how HTML elements appear on a web page. It’s a must learn because it saves developers a lot of time and effort. 

JavaScript

Most browsers use JavaScript, making this language another must-learn. It can serve as an introduction to front-end and back-end development, which further expands teens’ understanding of coding and its job opportunities. 

It can also add dynamic elements to web pages by augmenting web development languages like HTML and CSS.

Python

This is thought of as a multi-purpose language. It’s useful in web development, software development, and most of all, machine learning. 

Python’s recent explosion in popularity is mainly down to the continued investments in and growth of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and applications.

Java

Java is the backbone of all Android applications. So teens who are interested in building Android apps will have to learn Java. Thanks to the Java Virtual Machine, it’s able to run on any hardware and operating system. It’s also sometimes employed as a server-side language, similar to PHP.

Swift

If Java is the language to learn for building Android apps, Swift is the language to learn to build iPhone apps. It builds upon Ruby and Python and is fairly easy to learn.  It has some unique advantages, such as checking for errors during development and managing app memory usage in real time. 

C#

Like Java and Swift, C# can also be used to create mobile apps. However, it’s a general-purpose language that’s also useful with server applications and the making of video games. 

If your teen expresses interest in the creation of apps and games, then the C# language might be for them. It reads like English so learning it should be somewhat easy.

PHP

Another essential language for web development. Social media sites, E-commerce sites, Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, are all built using PHP. It complements HTML  and interacts well with databases, giving websites additional functionality.

One of the server-side scripting language’s biggest strengths is its flexibility. 

C++

C++ has been around from as far back as in the 1980s. Its power has allowed it to remain relevant. It backs applications like Microsoft Windows, Adobe, Amazon, and Google Chrome. 

The language supports many enterprise systems and can be useful for video games and embedded firmware development. However, C++ can be harder to learn than Python and JavaScript.

Coding for Teens Games, Apps, Tools and Kits

Each can engage teens, foster and sustain their interest in coding. Beyond getting teens excited about coding, each of these can also introduce them to coding principles and fundamentals and, in some instances, teaching them how to use code to solve problems. 

CODING FOR TEENS: How to get teenagers excited about learning to code
Our coding for teens program at Codewiz are mostly hands-on in nature where students get to work together on full stack projects that can solve real-world challenges.

Some coding games and apps may even provide fun for the whole family.

Some coding kits involve robotics and programming, giving teens an appetite for hardware and software design, engineering, and application development.

Many are available today in each category. But if you desire the best of the best, you can streamline your search with the following:  

Some of the Top Coding for Teens Games

•    Minecraft

•    CodeMonkey

•    CodeCombat

•    Cargo-Bot

•    Swift Playgrounds

•    SpaceChem

•    Lightbot

•    Hack ‘n’ Slash

Some of the Top Coding for Teens Apps and Tools 

•    Alice 

•    Tynker

•    Blockly

•    Codea

•    Hopscotch

•    Thimble

•    Scratch

•    Stencyl

Some of the Top Coding for Teens Kits 

•    Bitsbox

•    CoDrone Pro Kit

•    CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit

•    Kano Computer Kit

•    LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox

•    LittleBits Base Kit: Rule Your Room

•    Piper Computer Kit

Coding for Teens Programs and Camps

Buying books, exposing them to games, tools, and apps are good basic ways to get teenagers to think about and start their journey of learning to code. However, it might not be enough to grab and keep their interest in learning to code. 

While it’s not necessarily easy to get some kids into coding, getting teenagers to drop more compelling interests to pick up coding is an entirely different challenge. 

What parents need is a way to get teens organically excited about learning to code.

If you want one single solution that encompasses pretty much all of the components mentioned in this article, well consider sending your teen to a coding educational program or camp that caters to teenagers.

Choose the right Coding for Teens Program/Camp that will get Teenagers excited about coding

Coding for teens programs teaches teenagers how to code by introducing and exposing them to the various tools needed to develop the necessary skills needed to be a successful programmer, developer, designer, or any other code-related profession. 

Good coding programs/camps empower teenagers with various skills for the 21st century such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration skills.

But millennials are usually more engaged in coding classes when they get a chance to build or do something tangible that they can showcase to their friends or to the world.

So for computer programming classes to grab and keep the interest of teenagers it has to be cutting edge and make the students physically feel what they have coded.

Our coding for teens program at Codewiz goes beyond teaching teenagers how to think critically to solve problems using code. They are mostly hands-on in nature where students get to work on full stack projects that can solve real-world challenges using Java, HTML, CSS, and SQL. 

They will work in teams to design and build robots and learn how to use 3D printing software to create digital designs that can be developed into physical objects. We’ll then teach them to push their code to Github so they can impress everyone with their coding prowess. 

Want to unlock your teen’s inner wiz, boost their resume and increase their chances of getting an internship at a tech company? 

Check out our Highschooler Boot Camp. Contact us to learn more.

 


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