The tech industry has changed the face of the world.
Kids today look up to tech legends like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk. Maybe they even aspire to be like them…
So the makers of Beta decided to bring some fun to coding for kids!
During the 2011 – 2012 school year, more than 220 students at Stanford University declared Computer Science as their major – a 25% increase from the 2000 – 2001 academic year. Safe to say, coding is in.
Beta is a computer game that focuses on coding for kids that lets them program their own games and share these games with their friends and the world.
How Beta Works
Players start by playing some of the games that already exist from creators just like them from around the world. They use a simple object-oriented programming language called CodePOP, created specifically for the game to get through obstacles (code to win, neat!).
Once they’ve got the hang of the basics, they can start creating their own games and share them with friends.
The best thing about Beta? The player doesn’t have to wait to see code in action – just type in the code and press return to see results (we’re all for fast results when it comes to learning!)
Many play-to-learn games focus on one specific language – by sidestepping the “Which language?” dilemma, Beta creators have left room for boundless growth. The game focuses on teaching the player the basics of object-oriented programming, a paradigm of coding that has become an industry-wide norm. Rather than pigeonhole the player, it helps build skills that are applicable across all programming languages.
The game is designed to teach more than just lines of code – it’s a far cry from rote-learning. The sky is the limit when it comes to storylines and game design.
What Your Kids Will Learn
Beta’s lessons extend well beyond learning to code! Game development requires imagination and lots of rational thinking:
- Beta teaches players to think critically and creatively, skills that are building blocks far beyond the world of computer science alone.
- The deductive reasoning and logic that are inherent to programming will help students across the school curricula (a critical reading of Hamlet perhaps, or calculus, or physics, or that AP Computer Science class… well you get the gist).
And Beta does all this without insulting the player with bot-like error messages (we know the pain!). Programmers invariably know the frustration of unhelpful error messages that can appear when code fails to do its job – Beta’s error messages are instructive and very age-appropriate for young audiences.
Beta can be played alone or in a group setting; the website provides detailed curriculum for parents and educators who want to incorporate the game into classrooms or group lessons.
Beta is an awesome tool for anyone over the age of 10, with or without programming experience. But you don’t have to take our word for it, the game is already making waves with “game jams,” and partnerships with organizations like National Society of Black Engineers, NYC Lab School, Reboot Series, and Black Girls Code among others.
Beta is a surefire way to give children a truly versatile early programming experience that can translate to foundational skills in the real world. Most of all, it’s fun!
A video game everyone can get on board with.
Need more resources to teach your kids programming? Check out some of our other favorites!
How are you making coding for kids fun? Tell us how in comments below!