What is Python?
Whether you’ve been looking into learning how to code or are just interested in knowing how to create computer programs, you may have heard about Python. It’s a relatively simple programming language to learn and has a wide variety of applications, so it can be used by anyone from beginners to advanced software developers. If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to learning Python, don’t worry, this article will explain everything you need to know before beginning.
What is Coding:
Before beginning to learn how to code, you’ll need to understand what coding is. Coding is designing and writing a computer program that can be run to produce are a result or perform a task. Programming languages are the way that people can interact with the computer. Each language has specific syntax or “rules” that make it unique. Python allows people to convert written code to binary (a series of ones and zeroes) for the computer to understand. Python is only one of these languages. Other popular programming languages include Java or C++, although they are not quite as simple to understand as Python. This makes Python the perfect programming language for kids to learn.
What is Python Used for:
Despite being simple and easy to learn, Python is very versatile and can be used for many projects. Some project applications include web development, app and game development, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and much more! Because of this, Python has been one of the top 10 programming languages to learn for the last couple of years and it will likely continue to be one of the most popular languages for years to come.
Why Learn Python?
Now that we know what programming languages are and what they do, we’ll explain the advantages of learning Python in particular. It is one of the best programming languages for beginners to learn because of its simplicity, versatility, and how useful it is when it comes to making projects.
Python is very easy to learn:
As mentioned above, Python has a very simple and short syntax compared to many other popular languages such as Java or C++. For example, here’s “Hello World!” written in Python versus Java.
Python "Hello World!"
Java "Hello World!"
As you can see from the example, Python is much simpler and easier to understand than Java code. This makes it perfect for kids to learn because it’s easier to understand and read. There also tend to be fewer errors in code due to missing semicolons or parentheses. If students have
previous experience with Scratch they may notice that Python is very similar to many of the scratch blocks, which may help them transition from block to text-based programming. Even for those who have no coding experience at all, Python is quick and easy to learn, making it the perfect starting point for kids of any age.
Python is very versatile:
As mentioned earlier in the article, Python can be used for many purposes such as web and app development, data engineering, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning.
Although kids are not likely to get involved with these applications when they first begin they demonstrate just a few of the many paths that students could take once they know Python. Python also comes with many built-in libraries and modules that make coding much easier and more efficient. Some examples of these libraries used by beginners are Pygame or NumPy. These libraries make it easier to code programs simply and efficiently, making it easy for children to make the programs they want without worrying about code being too complex.
Python is in high demand:
Python is also a great language for kids to learn because it has many applications in the world. Many major companies such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, etc. This makes it a great choice for teens who want to learn to code and have an interest in going into one of these technology fields later in life. Its versatility, simplicity, and high demand make it an ideal language for kids and teens who are interested in beginning to learn Python.
The benefits of learning Python for kids:
Learning a programming language such as Python is lots of fun, but it comes with many other benefits as well. Here are just a few of the benefits of learning to code using Python:
Improved problem-solving skills:
One of the major aspects of learning to code is debugging programs. This involves finding out what’s stopping them from working correctly or what can be done to improve the code’s efficiency. Additionally, creating programs that calculate values or solve common problems requires problem-solving skills. Learning to code also increases these skills, which can later be applied to many other circumstances outside of just programming, such as classes in school or just daily life.
Improved Technology skills:
Learning to code also helps to improve skills when it comes to knowing how to use various types of technology. Knowing how the code works and interacts with the computer helps kids to understand more about how computers and other types of technology work. This may encourage them to become more interested in other fields related to coding, such as math, robotics, and more.
After Python, other languages are much easier to learn:
Because of Python’s simplicity, it is a great language for kids to start coding with. It is easy to learn the basics, and once kids have a strong grasp of the simple concepts they will be able to
move on to more advanced projects relatively quickly. Learning simple concepts such as variable assignment, lists, functions, loops, and if-statements will make it much easier to learn other languages later on. Because these concepts form the backbone of many programming languages, these skills are transferable and once kids learn how to do them in Python they will find it much easier to learn them in another language.
How to get started:
Now that you’ve learned all about why learning Python is great for kids, you may be wondering where to get started. There are many ways to learn to code, and the three most common methods are to self-teach using online resources, join a group class, or take private lessons. Below we’ll explore some further details for each of these methods and where to get started.
Learning Python independently:
Although learning Python on your own can be a bit challenging, it is a great way to learn how to code if you are unsure whether you would like it and are interested in seeing what it’s like. Many sites such as KhanAcademy or Code.org have some free online tutorials that can help you learn how to code. There are also many tutorial videos online or on the Geekedu blog that explain some basic Python skills and how to use them. However, these online sites do not offer a full curriculum and kids will not have anyone to review their code and provide feedback on their work, which makes it not ideal if they are looking to learn Python efficiently and thoroughly.
Here are some useful tutorials of Python for kids:
- Python Game for Kids: Pikachu Drawing with Turtle Graphics
- Best Python Projects for Kids: Memory Game in Python
- Best Python Projects for Kids in 2021: Rock Paper Scissors Game
- Best Python Projects for Kids in 2021: Tic Tac Toe with Python
- Best Python Projects for Kids in 2021: How to make a calculator with Tynter
Group classes are a great way to learn how to code because they are taught by a qualified instructor who knows a lot about the subject. It is also a great way for kids to receive feedback on the code they write and have some personalized support to help them with any concepts they may not understand. However, these classes often have many students and may be distracting for many children. Having many students in a class may also result in delays in curriculum and instructors may not be able to help each student as much as needed. These are all points to keep in mind when choosing how kids should learn to code with Python.
This is one of the best ways to learn how to code. One-on-one class sessions make it easy to learn Python or other programming languages and allow students to receive feedback on their work, without having to worry about other students. Private classes allow for better instruction, as lesson plans can be customized for each student, and kids can learn to code at their own pace.
Geekedu offers a wide variety of private Python classes for kids of any skill level, making it easy and fun for kids to learn how to code with Python.