At a time when coding careers continue to flourish – despite the Covid19 pandemic and its adverse effect on the world economy – it is not surprising to see kids learning programming at an early age. And the coding language of Python has won what can only be described as a growing following over the years. Not just among grownups but kids too.
So what is Python and why should kids learn it? Let’s start by taking a quick look at this programming language. A high-level general-purpose programming language, Python is being hailed today as the best coding language for beginners, including kids and teens.
Below are the top reasons why kids should learn Python:
- Ease of Learning: Boasting a syntax that is very similar to that of English, Python is easy to learn, especially when compared to most other programming languages. In Python, one can write concepts in fewer lines of code, making it a very useful and fast choice for tasks, especially for beginners, including kids. Moreover, Python affords a great deal of flexibility as a coding language which means kids can experiment easily and more often.
- Soaring Popularity: Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world now. In fact, it is said to have secured the second place in last year’s ranking of programming language popularity as published by the analyst firm Red Monk. This has definitely added to its appeal making more kids want to learn Python.
- Good Documentation, Community Support and a Big Network of Python Libraries: There is no dearth of guides and video tutorials for those working with Python. The community support makes it very easy for kids to learn computer science with Python. Plus, Python has several libraries that help minimise one’s time and effort during development. For instance, Matplotlib is used for plotting charts and graphs; SciPy for engineering applications, science, and mathematics; Beautiful Soup for HTML parsing and XML and NumPy for scientific computing.
- Highly Versatile, driving up its Cross-Industry Appeal: Python is being used in different types of environments such as mobile applications, desktop applications, web development, hardware programming, and many more. This makes it a highly versatile programming language. Today, it is widely used in Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things (IOT), Full Stack Web Development, Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
- Enjoys the Support of Leading Colleges and the Corporate Sector: Typically the first language taught in the computer science curriculum, Python has the backing from most of the top computer science college programs. It also enjoys support from Facebook, Amazon Web Services and Google. Thanks to the above reasons, more kids are learning Python today than ever before. It also helps that there is no shortage of learning resources today – both online and offline. There are many free learning resources one can find today but if you are looking for greater accountability, it is recommended to join a coding class. A leading coding program for kids and teens, YoungWonks provides students individual attention in 1:1 live lessons, fostering an environment where kids feel free to explore their creativity by experimenting and making new programs, apps, websites, games, robots and electronic devices. Not surprisingly, its students have even won first prizes at the RoboRave International 2018, RoboRave California 2018 and RoboRave US National 2017, making it a good choice for a kid looking to learn coding. Students even get a free trial to test the quality of lessons before they join the program.
–thank you to Ask a Tech Teacher contributor for this article
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.