by Becky Palmer-Scott
The great (and challenging) thing about computers is how quickly things change and how many new things appear all the time. I recently wrote about ways to encourage students to pursue coding using game design, only to find out about a whole bunch more the next month! So here they are. They are for all ages and abilities.
ScratchJr (ages 5-7): A free app. Unlike Scratch, which is only usable on computers, ScratchJr is for mobile device, Android or iOS. With ScratchJr, young children and nonreaders can program their own interactive stories and games. In the process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer.
Kodable (K-5): A browser-based series of puzzles/activities which allows parents/teachers to set up classrooms and monitor student progress. Includes lesson content for teachers. Free for basic version, additional charge for extras.
Hopscotch (ages 4 and up): A free iOS app for iPhone and iPad which teaches core coding concepts. Users can create games, drawings, mini-websites, patterns, and animations, and share them with others. A YouTube channel teaches how to make the games.
Blockly Games (ages 7 and up): Blockly games is a free browser-based program by Google. It is a series of games and puzzles designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer program. By the end of the games, players are ready to use conventional text-based languages.
Thinking Myself (ages 10 and up): A free browser-based activity which teaches computational thinking. Discusses patterns, variables/abstractions, input, output, loops, and algorithms.
Do you have any favorite tools for teaching coding? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org!