Programming languages, from the simplest to the most advanced, are an important part of the most innovative curriculums. The aim is to master programming, a skill that forms the foundations of our digital society in the 21st century.
Lego WeDo is one of the first tools in this field, but society wants more. Nowadays, the most innovative schools have realised the importance of encouraging students to develop complex programming abilities. Just like when we want to master any other language, we need to know the basic grammar rules; however, we must also develop the creativity, critical capacity and bold attitude needed to solve any programming challenges that arise.
Turning programming into a game helps improve learning. A programming class should be anything but boring. Children develop a creative and fun computational way of thinking from the youngest ages when toys such as Bee Bots are used. These abilities then lead to more complex projects such as developing a videogame with a combination of languages and universes of characters, soundtracks and plots.
Code, science and engineering. The best combination
Combining code with engineering and science is an element of the most creative subjects and projects we carry out at centres belonging to the Best Schools in Spain network. We have cutting-edge projects including a space programme to launch a device into the stratosphere, where students combine Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards and electronic hardware with cameras and a GPS system, and then carry out experiments to see how the stratosphere affects pressure, for example.
The most important thing is to give students complex challenges that they need to solve with the mindset of a programmer or scientific designer: there is an initial phase where students investigate existing solutions, which is followed by a development phase, a design phase and, lastly, an evaluation phase. This is a cyclical process that we can always start again if we run into any problems, which are seen as an opportunity to learn and find better solutions.
The best way to learn in a team
This way of working requires creativity, innovation and a good dose of teamwork. Leadership cannot be isolated in programming projects. Constructive feedback and flexibility to find creative solutions for errors in the code or final project help students develop their creativity and management, teamwork and problem-solving skills.
Skills that build opportunities
At the Best Schools in Spain, we know that mastering various programming languages opens doors to the jobs of the future that are still being “invented”. The skills we learn from projects that involve programming are considered essential in the digital society that we are moving towards at a dizzying pace. Beyond code, programming prepares students for the world of work by giving them the soft skills required in all workplace settings.