Coding has become an important skill in today’s education. Coding is not only about learning technical knowledge related to how computers function but is also about developing a number of interconnected skills and competencies that are key to students success in school and beyond.
As students explore the world of coding and grapple with programming languages to demystify the mysterious functioning of the digital world, they pick up a number of soft and social skills along the way. These include: critical thinking, design thinking, creative thinking, flexible thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, strategic thinking, self-expression, logical reasoning, mathematical thinking, divergent thinking, systems thinking, and many more.
Coding also teaches students the importance of collaboration and effective communication. Students learn to work in teams, coordinate their efforts, and celebrate as they crack codes. Coding boosts students social emotional learning and enhances their sense of resilience, determination, perseverance, and self-expression.
Given the growing importance of coding in education, we have reviewed and posted a number of coding resources and tools for both teachers and students some of these include practical guides, web tools, books, games, and mobile apps.
In today’s post, I am sharing with a list of some of the best websites you can use with your kids and students to teach them coding.
1- Microsoft MakeCode
This is another great tool to help students learn everything related to coding. Tynker is ‘ a creative computing platform where millions of kids have learned to program and built games, apps and more. Tynker offers self-paced online courses for children to learn coding at home, as well as an engaging programming curriculum for schools.’
This is a non-profit project that provides resources to help students of all ages and grades learn computer science. Code.org organizes Hour of Code initiative which reached millions of kids all over the world. Hour of Code introduces kids to one hour of computer of science activity to be taken each December.
‘Codesters combines a fun online coding platform for students, a powerful learning management system for teachers, and built-out coding lessons so you can start teaching kids to code in your school today…Codesters lets students create interactive projects in Python. Our unique drag-to-text toolkit guides students through text-based coding, while engaging them with sprites and animations.’
‘With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community…Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.’
6- Minecraft Code Builder
Kodable enables kids to learn coding through interactive games and self-guided activities. Kodable also offers a wide variety of K-5 lessons and curriculum resources to help teachers make the best of Kodable in their computer science classes. Teachers can easily create classes on Kodable, invite students, track students progress, and provide certificates of accomplishment.
Kodable offers three main games: Smeeborg (beginner level), Asteroidia (intermediate level), and Bug World (advanced level). As students play the games, they get to develop a number of coding skills and thinking competencies including systems thinking, design thinking, critical thinking, logical reasoning, and more. Using Kodable’s creative projects, students get to apply the learned skills in constructing a wide variety of materials and activities.
8- Code Monkey
CodeMonkey offers a wide variety of coding materials to use in your class including lessons, webinars, video tutorials, MOOC courses, and many more. Using the site’s Classroom Dashboard, you will be able to keep track of your students learning and manage their activities. Check out CodeMonkey’s full review to learn more.
9- Discovery Education Coding
Discovery Education offers numerous education resources for teaching coding. These include block coding lessons “where pupils drag and drop events, objects and actions to make things happen in a program, progressing to building their own games and apps”.
It also provides lessons to help students learn about coding languages such as HTM, CSS and Python. Students will get to “learn how to write programs using text, and apply their coding know-how to build quizzes, draw graphics and run simulations”. There are also video tutorials and illustrations to facilitate the explanation of complex coding concepts. Teachers can access over “100 lesson plans … [with]… learning objectives, success criteria, vocabulary and key questions to ask pupils”.
10- Simply Coding
Simply Coding empowers kids with the coding knowledge necessary to build their own coding creations such as websites, games, mods, and even apps. The way it works is easy and kids are not required to have prior coding knowledge. Simply Coding provides interactive lessons to introduce kids to the basics of programming then there are lesson activities where students can test their gained knowledge and apply what they learned.
Lessons and activities include video tutorials and guides and are built progressively enabling kids to progress smoothly from one level to the next. Simply Coding also offers mentoring sessions to help with coding problems.There are various pricing options for individuals and families.
11- CS First
CS First by Google is a computer science curriculum that helps kids learn coding in fun and engaging ways. It offers a wide variety of free tools and educational resources to facilitate learning coding in class. Kids learn coding through video-based lessons that cover various themes. Examples include a unit on Art which features lessons that help kids learn to create animations, interactive artwork, photograph filters, and several other projects.
In the Storytelling unit, kids learn the art of telling fun and interactive stories through 8 lessons for beginners. Similarly, the Game Design unit features 8 lessons that help kids learn basic coding concepts by creating different types of video games. Teachers can register with CS First, create their classes and use dashboard to manage and monitor class progress.
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