Why Programming?

In today’s digital world, coding becomes an important skill. I have joined MIT’s online community Learning Creative Learning (LCL) since this October, and I was interested in Scratch that is one of the programming languages. As I wanted to learn Scratch deeply, I began to take the edX online course, Scratch: Programming for Teachers. The objectives of this course are learning how to deal with programming in Scratch, broadening programming concepts, and discussing strategies/approaches for teaching. I am not a teacher but a parent and a person interested in STEAM. It is suitable for me because I want to learn Scratch itself and acquire the skills to deliver this attractive tool to children and adults.

What is programming?
At first, the lecturer of this course mentioned when we talk about programming education, one of the biggest questions is what is programming. It is a deep question but a basic answer is programming is getting a computer to do something. As digitalization advances, programming becomes more important.

Why do all children need to know programming?
This lecture taught me three reasons why programming is so important. The first reason is job markets are expanding in a few years and we might need more programmers because of the software importance. The second reason is to understand the world trends. There are lots of software related News. The third reason is programming is creative. We can self-express by programming. Childhood is a great time to start programming and develop computational thinking, creativity and problem solving.

What programming language should I use?
There are lot of languages like HTML, CSS, javascript, PHP, Python and so on. One of the benefits of Scratch is we can set our own language because research has shown that children learn better in their own language. Another benefit is we need not install anything. We just connect internet and sign in Scratch page. The third benefit is Scratch includes blocks right there. We need not memorize and search the code itself. It looks too easy and childish as we can just move the cat but it is a real and powerful programming language.

I have some opportunities to learn Scratch recently and I enjoy, explore, tinker, and reflect with peers. I would like to combine with other hardware and and apply it.

My recent Scratch project: Cant’t wait Christmas (DelftX: ScratchTENGX Week2 Homework) Coding kids decorate a Christmas tree. Using programming concept: Timing, different look.


  • DelftX: ScratchTENGX. Scratch: Programming for Teachers. Week1. Week2.
  • Hill, B. (2017). Learning to Code in One’s Own Language. Retrieved from https://mako.cc/copyrighteous/scratch-localization-and-learning

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