Teaching Kids How To Code With Python Turtle

Teaching Kids How To Code With Python Turtle

Teaching kids to code has become increasingly usual and important. Python’s turtle module can be an excellent way to do that. Teaching Kids How To Code With Python Turtle

Teaching kids to code has become increasingly usual and important. Python’s turtle module can be an excellent way to do that.

Teaching how to code from a young age has become increasingly usual. There are good reasons to do so, since the ability to code has been viewed as one of the most important for the years to come, but also — and probably more importantly — because learning to code offers kids a way to develop and train a range of different skills perceived as useful in everyday life and in other school subjects, like creativity, problem solving, persistence and even collaboration.

Although learning how to code can be difficult and scary, there are some approaches that can mitigate those difficulties. First of all, we should — obviously — take the age of the kid into consideration, but also have in mind that learning should be fun.

«El cerebro sólo aprende si hay emoción» (The brain only learns if there is emotion) - Francisco Mora, neuroeducation specialist

I was about 15 or 16 when I started programming and I did it using BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). But there’s a change that some of you reading this text first learned programming — or at least are familiar — with the Logo language, especially if you are a little older than me.

A turtle-shaped cursor draws a 10-point star as it moves around the plane.

Logo is known by its turtle graphics that are vector graphics / images produced by a small turtle-shaped cursor moving around the screen, obeying to a list of programmed instructions. It requires some geometry knowledge, particularly on angles and angle measure. That means that — in theory — kids around 8-10 years old should be able to understand the mechanics of the exercises to be performed.

The disadvantage of learning Logo is that it has little to no practical use in the real world. It was conceived only to teach programming concepts and is a somewhat dead language.

Fortunately, Python has a turtle module that can be used to learn coding the same way you would with Logo, although — obviously — using a different syntax.

Python is the most widely used programming language worldwide and the one that has grown the most in recent years. And it is easy to explain why. It’s easy to read and to learn; it is very versatile, with its uses ranging from web development to data science and artificial intelligence, not forgetting its ease of use to write simple scripts that can automate many of your day-to-day tasks; it’s also highly extensible with its library system. Python is used not only by programmers, but also by many researchers, students and amateur coders, which helps to explain its growth and position as market leader.

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