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Visual vs Text-based Programming Languages For Your Kids

Visual vs Text-based Programming Languages For Your Kids

Visual vs Text-based Programming Languages For Your Kids

Kids are able to learn programming languages while they are young. We, as parents, are responsible for guiding our children as early as today. So, if we decided to teach coding, then we should start it right away.

Why is learning coding languages essential?

Coding languages or programming languages are the main and only instructions understood by the computer. It has sets of symbols, syntax, and rules to follow to make the program run. Programmers use this coding language to both create and run a platform, application, and others. If they are fully aware of the syntax and the other rules of the language, they can easily make programs. 

In this case, if you teach coding languages to your kids today, you will expect them to master a particular language that they might use in the future. Other than that, they will understand the processes, systems, and functions of the languages, preparing them for future programming projects. 

So, what programming languages are you going to use to teach your child?

Two-different programming languages

Programming languages have two different types: the text-based and visual-based coding. Both are applicable in building programs, platforms, and apps. It also includes particular rules to follow. Besides that, programmers must even know how it works properly to run the program smoothly. 

Text-based and visual-based coding languages have considerable similarities in the programming world. However, it also features distinct differences. Through this, you might come up with a question of which programming language should you teach to your kids? That is what we are going to discuss the best kids coding languages. 

Pros of Text-based Programming Languages  

Text coding languages primarily focus on text coding. It uses particular letters, symbols, and digits to be understandable for the computer. It uses a more complex concept and requires a keen concentration to the details. 

Text-based programming is sensitive to each symbol. If a semi-colon is misplaced in the code sentence, the program most likely does not run. So, kid programmers must recheck everything and analyse the part missing. 

However, text-based coding has a broader scope of creativity and motivation. It lets kids programmers level up their game with text coding. 

Professional software programmers who prefer text-based programming languages use Python, JavaScript, and Lua. For kids who want to learn the basics of text-based coding can begin learning through Logo and Sniff.    

Pros of Visual-based Programming Languages

Visual-based coding or block-based programming languages are featuring blocks and any graphical components to build programs. It requires visual expression and interpretation while it uses graphic symbols rather than text. 

Kids coding is usually using visual-based programming languages as it introduces graphics and images, with bright colours and fun shapes. It makes the coding more entertaining and appealing to kids’ eyes. Young children can also understand the primary system and fundamentals of programming through visuals. 

Even kids who are not yet reading can do block-based programming as long as they familiarise coding rules and processes. In this case, younger kids have a chance to learn programming. 

Some of the popular visual-based coding languages are Scratch, Blockly, Swift, Java, Python, and C++. 

Comparison Between Text-Based and Visual Programming

Both text-based and block-based coding languages are useful in building programs. It has substantial uses that make it more interesting to know their vast differences. 

In that case, if you are indeed excited to discover the programming language you will teach your kids, check out its full pros and cons below.

#1 Ease of Learning

Kids who use visual-based coding do not require remembering all the language’s commands, rules, and syntax. They can create a program without a massive effort or understanding. Thus, kids are not obliged or stressed to memorise all the symbols needed to build an application.

On the other hand, text-based programmers can master the texts today and use it for future references. It takes weeks or months for kids to write codes that cover a longer time frame for kids.

Through the ease of learning, block-based coding is more effortless as it makes the kids enjoy the learning process without requiring them to understand the whole concept. Afterwards, little by little, they can fully comprehend the world of coding.

#2 Level of Understanding 

Visual-based coding is more understandable for young minds. Even if they cannot read, they can build a program through graphics. It can help them understand the world of coding without complex concepts such as symbols, spaces, and digits. Kids can also master block-based coding even if they do not have experience with coding.

#3 Sensitivity

Programs do not run all the time. Sometimes there are syntax errors that prevent the program to follow the codes you entered. In this case, the programmer must check and verify the codes to correct the mistakes.

As for text-based programming, a simple colon or any single symbol can affect the whole program. It is more sensitive to manipulation by little kids as it requires keen attention. It can also be frustrating for them, especially if they just begin learning. However, this kind of sensitivity can help them practise resilience and carefulness. 

If you prefer to learn coding for kids through a visual-based programming language, it will prevent them from struggling with text code’s high sensitivity. Block-based coding can easily see the problem through the graphics without any hassles. 

#4 Layout

Text-based coding has a linear layout of code sentences. It demands the codes to show connections to the other codes. It must be written coordinately from beginning to end without any lapses. On the other hand, block-based coding features non-linear layout. You can still move the code anytime you prefer. 

But then, there are still visual-based coding languages with a linear layout that made it more strict but more organised. 

#5 Efficiency 

Others believe that block-based coding is slower rather than typing the codes faster through text-based coding. It makes a lot of efficiency in typing the codes to build a program and run it right away. However, new programmers should master the code language first before achieving this kind of efficiency.

It is acceptable for kids to work slower with either visual or text-based coding languages. They should slow down in writing sentence code for text-based programming to prevent extra space or spelling mistakes. While on visual-based coding, they also need to consider other graphics that might interfere with the program. So, they still need to be mindful of their speed and efficiency.

#6 Devices or Gadgets

Visual-based programming languages are more available with a touch screen interface. Kids learning code can easily drag and drop graphics using their phones or tablets. Some use a keyboard or mousepad to build their programs too. Any of these are applicable for visual-based programming. Kids can download these coding toys or online programming platforms right away. It is easier, faster, and more achievable than the text-based coding, which requires a laptop or personal computer. 

How can I teach my child text-based or visual-based coding?

Your kids can master coding at a very young age, with the help of code learning schools. There is a kids coding class in Sydney that will teach them the basics of computer science. You may try the newest franchise kids coding school of Skill Samurai. It is an after school coding and robotics class for ages 7 to 18. 

Through this coding class for kids, your child can learn either visual-based coding and text-based coding while enjoying its learning experience in a fun and comfortable environment.