Logiscool: A fun way to teach programming to kids
“I’m going to start my own business and make a living from programming” said a 9-year-old student in Logiscool, a special place, where more than 6000 kids have tried programming in a playful way. According to szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu, what they like the most is that they can tell their classmates that they have created their own computer games.
Logiscool teaches programming to 6-18 year old children, youngsters in groups of 6-12. Many people think that programming is only for geeks, because you only see weird characters on a black screen and you have to understand mathematics. This is exactly the stereotype and the reason why Logiscool built a brand called “experience-based programming school”. All of their pupils get the chance to programme their own computer games, which is quite a witty way of making learning fun.
The fifth grader Tamás says that in Logiscool he learns things that will be indispensable in the future. “Nothing feels better than hearing kids happily tell each other that they have their own games. Is there anything cooler than this?” asks founder Anita Breuer, and adds that they have thought more than 6000 kids in two and a half years.
“This is great because children can learn to think logically. The logical, algorithmic thinking can be one of the secrets of a successful life.” It seems like many parents agree with her as they now have 25 schools and are planning on spreading further.
“This is all about having a certain problem, which they divide into parts and solve it thereafter. Our life works similarly. We don’t only train programmers, obviously not everyone will end up being a programmer. But the knowledge we give them can be used in several fields of life, not to mention that, when these kids enter the labour market, this knowledge will be as basic as speaking foreign languages these days.”
Kids are divided into four age groups, so that everyone can take part in the course suitable for their knowledge. The smallest ones, who can’t even write, start with a basic course, where they get to know the computer, since Logiscool noticed that a generation is growing up which finds the mouse and the keyboard strange, because they are surrounded by smart gadgets. At the end of the courses teenagers have a basic programming knowledge, which is a marketable knowledge at the same time.
All age groups enjoy the training, but the 3rd-6th graders form the biggest group, because they are the ones their parents find the most appropriate to enter the school. Anita emphasises that they welcome everybody, children suffering in Asperger syndrome, partially sighted, or wheelchair kids, as well, who very much enjoy that the programming course opens new gates for them.
Anita was inspired to start the experience-based programming school in 2013, when her daughter’s I.T. training was abolished in her school and when she met MIT’s programme called Scratch. The co-founder, Gyula Csitári did most of the curriculum development, but now they already have three full-time developers.
Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu writes that the teachers are university students, who are aspiring I.T. specialists, mathematicians, physicists and astrologists. It’s a great advantage that they are close in age to the kids, therefore, they understand each other very well. “I think we made the best decision when we decided to employ university students who know about programming.”
However, university students are not teachers, so they created a course which thought them the methods of teaching. They now have almost 200 university students teaching their pupils and they are very proud to have many female teachers, as well.
Logiscool found that the best way of spreading was through the franchise method, so they worked out the requirements and now have 25 schools (4 own, 21 franchise) in 3 countries (Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic).
Even though Logiscool doesn’t give you a programming diploma, they do very useful preparation trainings. For one thing, they open up kids’ eyes to how it is worth to be occupied with this, and also to another thing: their pupils may have a marketable knowledge at the age of 18.
They encourage more and more people to start programming, which can help the management of the enormous I.T. specialist shortage in the long-run. Logiscool currently teaches kids, but it might happen that they expand their courses to adults as well.
They are planning to develop their curriculum in the near future and the big boom of the next semester will be that all programmed games will be collected in an application. They want to have a franchise school in every county chief town, and also start expand abroad.
Copy editor: bm