Teaching programming to children and adults differs in that it is based on a completely different approach. For young students, the process of mastering the basics of programming is a game: colorful, interesting and exciting. To make the training exactly like this, a visual language is used, where various ready-made graphic blocks act as elements, and not a complex syntax, like in more serious programming tools.
When a child learns to program, the goal of this process is not to write complex, serious programs. But as a result of mastering visual languages, a young programmer gets an idea about the process of creating programs and about the basic concepts of this process. Learning in this format does not bother and is never boring. What visual languages are used to teach children the basics of IT technologies?
The Scratch visual environment is suitable for learning programming and mathematics. Colored blocks, reminiscent of Lego elements for young programmers, allow children to understand the basics of programming in a convenient and easy way. At the it future programming school, children use Scratch to create simple games and visualization of objects. Today Scratch has several versions.
The Alice web development language was created almost 25 years ago – in 1998, and its last update was released recently – in 2013. But it is still used by beginners, young programmers, and experienced professionals. The principle of the environment is the presence of ready-made blocks designed for the development of simple programs. The Alice tool is ideal for kids who are already familiar with basic programming concepts.
The name of the product Google Blockly says two things: that it was created by Google Corporation and that blocks are the main element of the language. Google Blockley appeared in 2012. This visual environment provides an online “cloud storage” where applications created by programmers are downloaded and can be freely used. It is noteworthy that the language has a Russian version.
App Inventor is also one of the visually oriented environments created by Google. The tool allows you to develop applications on Android. In teaching, this language is not used as often as, for example, Scratch. But it helps young computer users gain a basic knowledge of programming without delving into the complex concepts of codes, variables, and syntax.
Without the use of code, the eToys software product also functions. He was born 25 years ago – in 1996. The program allows you to create simple animation and develop applications using ready-made block elements. Many experienced programmers are sure that it was eToys that became the foundation for the emergence and development of Scratch.
The name of the Snap! means “click”, confirming the idea that using this language it is possible to create programs “at the click of a finger”. Snap! was developed as a visual continuation of Scratch. The product has an intuitive interface. The display is divided into three parts with different sets of options, which allows you to create simple computer games and make animations.
The KTurtle language is one of the most loved by children. The main character of the program is a cheerful and inquisitive turtle. This environment, like other visual products, has a set of commands and ready-made elements. With their help, you can control not only the virtual turtle, but also other objects.
In the system of visual languages, there is no concept of syntax, so they were created specifically for children. Mastering any of the selected products, the guys learn the basics of programming in simple and understandable ways – on colored blocks and with colorful characters. Perceiving learning as a fun and exciting game, children will learn more complex languages in the future with the same inspiration and passion!