How are the Maker Vidya Free Lessons structured?

The lessons have videos that students can watch to understand the computer science concepts. Once the concept is understood, the students are expected to write programs independently without any help for subsequent questions for the same topic. The goal is to understand the material well and turn students into independent programmers.

What is the right age to start coding?

Computer science is not just about remember what syntax to write and what concepts to use. It's about being able to independently figure out what computer science concept should be used for what problem and student being able to use his or her own critical thinking to come up with a logic to solve the coding problem. If students are too young their lateral thinking may not be developed enough to figure out the logic. They might be able to solve the questions that they have done before by recollecting the steps and blocks from their memory. But when they are assigned a question thats slightly diffrent from the question they have done before they usually say something like, “I have not done this before”. Thats a red flag. That means the student is not ready for coding classes yet. Every kid is different but typically this kind of lateral thinking usually develops when they are between the ages of 7 and 8 years of age. There are always exceptions where a student may be ready before 7 or may not be ready even after 9. Parents should pay careful attention to their kids lateral thinking ability and start them with coding only when they are ready. Being able to solve problems independently by themselves is very rewarding for kids and that's what keeps them driven and motivated. If they are not yet ready to do that the class can feel like work and such kids may develop apprehension for coding for ever.

What is the benefit of starting to code early?

As long as students lateral thinking is developed enough to start computer coding, which typically happens between the ages of 7 and 8, students can greatly benefit from practicing logical logical thinking skills where they are breaking the tasks into sequential steps and finding patterns in those steps. This kind of logical thinking approach not only gets them ready to think like a computer programmer but also allows them to be logical thinkers in general which can help in real life situations or in solving questions in any analytical subjects such as math and science. All this happens only when students get to the point there they can write code independently without any help for new questions that they have not worked on before. MakerVidya team strongly urges parents to stay away from programs that are scripted where the focus is on completion of the task rather than the students process of completing the task.

Why MakerVidya starts with Python?

Python is a professional level programming language used by leading technology companies around the world. For many years Python has been the fastest growing programming language in the world in terms of popularity. Python recently reached a milestone of being the most popular programming language in the world. Most of the leading computer science college programs have Python has the first programming language they teach to college students. Python is also a multi purpose programming language sued in the field of Internet of Things (IOT), Game development, Web Development, Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. So, learning Python is a highly sought after valuable life skill for anyone at any age.

Why its only for ages 11 and above?

MakerVidya teaches real text based coding using Python. The MakerVidya initial level course teaches the same kind of programming skills as would be taught to kids in college. The advanced level course teaches skills that students typically lean in later years of college or learn after they graduate from college. MakerVidya's technology and training partner has 6 years of experience teaching similar curriculum to kids in the US. Based on that experience our team has concluded that most 11 years olds are ready for such a program where they can learn real programming skills. If your kid is not 11 but you are confident that he or she can handle our rigorous computer science program please reach out to us. We can setup an evaluation and may relax our age requirement.

What is a self paced program?

In a self paced program every student goes at their own pace and there is no set amount of material to be covered in each day. This makes sure that student who is able to faster can go as fast he or she is able to and student who needs more time to understand the concept gets that extra time to understand it well before moving ahead. If basics are not clear student is not going to enjoy the subsequent material and may give up. Thats what happens in most the computer programming classes and is the reason giving up on leaning programming. MakerVidya has adopted a Wonksknow's USA's philosophy of making sure student is through with the prior material before moving ahead to next concept. This way studnets stay engaged and keep gaining more and more confidence. Many times students who were slower to move though the curriculum initially pick speed layer. Such student would have given up in traditional computer programming classes.

What is assisted practice?

In the assisted practice teaching model students solve coding questions in the class itself itself and teacher watches them attempt these questions and when they get stuck teacher realizes what step student got stuck at, what concept needs to be reinforced and teacher provides further explanation of that concept so that student complete the assignment. The same process repeats many times till the student is independently able to complete a coding assignment. This type of synchronous interactive teaching works way better classic models of teaching. MakerVidya's technology and training partner has been using this approach for last 6 years and have seen incredible results. MakerVidya also uses Wonksknow's screen sharing technology where teacher is able to see every studnets screen at all times and provide timely assistance in concept explanation needed to complete the classwork assignment.

Does MakerVidya have a web based IDE:

Even though MakerVidya studnets are middle and high school students its not a dumbed down computer science program for kids. It teaches skills at the same conceptual depth as a college level program and students complete the same kind of projects as a college level students would be expected to complete. So we want studnets to program just like the professional programmer do. They understand the computer file system and how to save their code files and the assets in appropriate directories. They use industry standard IDE's starting with those which a very limited code auto-complete features and then in later levels use more advances IDE's that have comprehensive auto-compete features.