It has been proven children can learn the alphabet, numbers, etc., more conveniently through pictures and games rather than following the traditional pen-and-paper method. Similarly, block-based coding ushers children into the world of coding in a fun way as compared to text-based coding.
Example of block-based coding
In this video, block are used to make a jumping game.
Example of Text-based coding:
screen = pygame.display.set_mode((640, 480))
for event in pygame.event.get():
if event.type == pygame.KEYDOWN:
if event.key == pygame.K_LEFT:
print(“Move character left”)
elif event.key == pygame.K_RIGHT:
print(“Move character right”)
elif event.key == pygame.K_UP:
print(“Move character up”)
elif event.key == pygame.K_DOWN:
print(“Move character down”)
In the above example, Python language is used to create a program that moves a character when a key is pressed. Text-based coding defines our program logic, such as importing the necessary libraries, setting up the screen, and defining the event loop that listens for keyboard input.
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What is Text-based Coding?
Text-based coding involves writing lines of code stored as text files, while block-based coding is based on drag and drop formula.
Before 2003, block-based coding was not so prominent, and older kids were usually taught text-based coding, which was not easy to learn. But the coding scenario changed when MIT created the first block programming language, Scratch, which focused on teaching kids about the basics of computer programming through visual representation instead of text-based programming.
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What is block-based coding?
When text-based computer commands are grouped in pre-programmed blocks and dragged and dropped to build computer programs such as animations and games is called block-based coding.
Block-based vs Text-based Coding
Drag-and-drop visual blocks
Write instructions using keyboard characters and a certain syntax
Easy to use
Easy to follow instructions
Difficult for beginners to decode instructions
Fun way of introducing children to the world of coding
Complicated way of learning coding
Block coding is a simple form of computer programming and an excellent starting point for children aged 5-8 years who want to learn how to code. The main difference between block-based and text-based coding is explained below:
1. Drag and drop visual blocks
Block-based coding involves dragging and dropping visual blocks of code to create a program. It provides a beginner-friendly approach to programming and allows kids to learn programming concepts through visual cues. It’s often used in educational settings and is popular among young children.
Text-based coding involves writing code using a programming language. It requires understanding programming concepts and syntax and can be more challenging for beginners. It’s a more flexible and powerful approach to programming, allowing for more complex and customized programs. Text-based coding is often used in industry and higher-level educational settings.
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2. Easy to comprehend
Block-based coding uses blocks which makes it easier for beginners to understand the simple instructions. They can easily guess the following steps, even if they are doing it for the first time.
In comparison, text-based coding creates confusion, especially for beginners, and the mind-boggling experience can easily dissuade them from learning to code.
3. Ease of use
Block-based coding is about dragging and dropping the blocks with pre-written instructions. Children find it challenging to use when the same instructions are given in text-based coding.
4. Ushers in the world of technology in a fun way
The way technology has invaded our lives, children need to understand it. But they are too young to bear the pressure to learn. In such a scenario, a soft launch is the best method to engage them in technology, and this is only possible with block-based coding
For text-based programming, fundamental coding knowledge is a must, as familiarization with the coding lingo such as loop, a Boolean, array, etc. For advanced learning, you have to be familiar with programming languages like C++ and headers, libraries, functions, dynamic memory management, and much more before you get in too deep.
The choice between block-based and text-based coding for kids depends on factors such as age, experience, learning style, and goals. Block-based coding can be an excellent starting point for developing young children’s problem-solving and logical thinking skills. Text-based coding can help older kids better understand programming concepts and prepare them for more advanced programming languages.
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