Put Down the Textbooks: Video Games Now Teaching How to Code | TechWell

Put Down the Textbooks: Video Games Now Teaching How to Code

It’s never really been difficult to teach kids how to use computers. Over time, children have been introduced to computers at younger and younger ages, whether through computer labs at school or their parents’ tablets at home. And, while learning how to use a computer is certainly a valuable skill, learning how to create the amazing software that they run is even more valuable.

Children who have already become addicted to video games may initially shudder at the thought of losing time gaming to take on this additional educational endeavor, that is until they discover that they can learn code like Java and Javascript while they’re playing.

E Science News recently reported that after sitting down a group of forty girls, ages ten to twelve, to play CodeSpells, computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found that "within just one hour of play, the girls had mastered some of Java's basic components and were able to use the language to create new ways of playing with the game."

CodeSpells is slated to be released for free once the study is complete.

The developers at Primer Labs have taken the open source, freemium education model a step further with their own instructional game, Code Hero. Code Hero not only teaches Javascript, one of today’s most popular mobile app coding languages, but Primer Labs’ Kickstarter campaign even challenges players to try their hands at creating a video game of their own.

Both of these efforts come on the heels of Code.org’s continuing effort to expand coding education to “every student in every school.” The non-profit recently released a video, with the assistance of some of the biggest heavyweights in the software industry, to express how important it is for kids to know how to code and how cool the learning experience—and the rewards—can be. 


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