Are Robotics & Coding Just for Geeks?

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I've been teaching robotics and coding for about three years.  I've taught all kinds of kids.  Some love it, but all enjoy it.  

So the answer is, no.  Here's why.

Most adults get the wrong image in their heads when they think of coding.  Folks my age or older think of stacks of Fortran punch cards, and black screens with tiny white flashing carets, and confusing subroutines.

That kind of coding still exists (well, not punch cards), but that's not what these kids are doing. 

Today's coding has more in common with drag and drop and touch screen operations on an iPad than anything else.

Kids still learn to think logically and exercise their reasoning skills.  But they are doing it in a simpler format, moving blocks of pre-formatted code around in much that same way that they might play Tetris.  Except they are actually writing code.  

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Ozoblockly, the coding language we use to program Ozobots, is just this kind of languge.  It is built on JavaScript, but the kids don't necessarily need to understand that.   What they do understand, though, is far more important and useful at their age.  They understand how to use loops and logic commands.  They understand how to plan, build, test, debug, and revise.  They understand how to create more efficient code that is easier to debug.  They learn all the biggest lessons of coding without having to pay attention to syntax details until they need or want to.  It's very powerful.  Every bit as powerful as the mouse was when Apple and Windows first hit the scene all those years ago.

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Coding and robotics is definitely not just for geeks.  It's also not just for big kids.  I routinely teach kindergarteners to code with Ozoblockly.  

Give your kids a little push and watch them soar!

Lauren McClure