Our approach to teaching coding to kids

Categorized under: coding education for kids

My first exposure to coding was as a freshman in college. I had registered for an Intro to Computer Science course and was excited to learn more about the wonderful world of technology.  During our first lab session, we were asked to open a text editor and instructed to type lines of code from the textbook. While I certainly got better at typing, it didn't make me very excited about learning how to code.

Instead of this approach, we utilize a project based approach at Digital Adventures. Each lesson encapsulates the design, development, and launch of an actual project. For example, during a 3D printing project on making a checkers piece, we have kids sketch out their initial concept on the whiteboard, translate their design to CAD software, and then export the design file (instructions) for printing. We believe it is important for kids to have either a digital or a physical artifact at the conclusion of each each project.

With this philosophy, kids begin to understand the coding/programming is a tool in their problem-solving toolbox. Just like a hammer isn't appropriate for every element of a construction project, certain programming languages or design solutions won't be appropriate for the development of every application.

We believe that this approach will stimulate a natural love and curiosity for problem-solving.

About the Author: Omowale Casselle ([email protected]) is the Co-founder & CEO of Digital Adventures. Prior to Digital Adventures, Omowale led the development, launch & management of an interactive advertising & marketing platform, SAMPLEit (division of Outerwall, Inc.), in high traffic retail locations (Walmart, Meijer, HEB) that will help consumers trial, discover, and ultimately make more informed choices about their most important purchase decisions. Earlier in his career, Omowale was part of the new product development team that successfully brought industry-leading vehicles to market including Ford Mustang, Ford Fusion, and Ford Escape Hybrid. His passion for continuous learning and development has led to degrees from Harvard Business School (MBA), University of Michigan (MS Engineering), and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (BS Engineering).