January 12, 2014
In his wonderful TED talk " Let's teach kids to code ", Scientist Mitch Resnick made this beautiful analogy :
When kids learn to code , it enables them to learn many other things, opens up many new opportunities for learning. It's useful to make an analogy to reading and writing, when you learn to read and write it opens up opportunities for you to learn so many other things, when you learn to read you can then read to learn, which is the same thing with coding, if you learn to code you can code to learn.
Drawing on Mitch's talk together with a bunch of other online resources, I came up with this list of skills kids get to learn from coding . These skills are also relevant for all other sorts of activities:
- It helps kids learn in meaningful context
- It teaches them that learning is a process and not a product
- It teaches them how to take complex ideas and break them down into simpler parts
- It teaches them how to collaborate with others
- It also teaches them how to keep persistent and persevere in the face of frustration when things are not working well
- it teaches determination and risk-taking
- It helps them become fluent with technologies and enable them to open open up and express their ideas.
- It helps them be creative
- It helps them interact with the world around them
Here are some of the platforms that bring simple coding lessons to teens and adults.
1- A beginner's guide to HTML and CSS
A Beginner’s Guide to HTML & CSS is a simple and comprehensive guide dedicated to helping beginners learn HTML and CSS. Outlining the fundamentals, this guide works through all common elements of front-end design and development.
2- Code Academy
This is my favourite coding platform and it is the one I myself used to learn about coding. It provides lessons that cover everything students need in order to learn how to code from the basics to the advanced coding.
Using an innovative programming environment to support the creation of 3D animations, the Alice Project provides tools and materials for teaching and learning computational thinking, problem solving, and computer programming across a spectrum of ages and grade levels
4- Daisy The Dinasour
Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur! This free, fun app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen. Kids will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this app's challenges. After playing Daisy, kids can choose to download a kit to program their own computer game.
It has tutorials for all kinds of learners starting with newbies and moving progressively in difficulty to advanced learners. It also has an editor where you can try out your codes and see how they would look like when you use them on your blog or website.
6- Code School
Code School teaches web technologies in the comfort of your browser with video lessons, coding challenges, and screencasts.
Tynker is another great coding platform that allows kids to :
- Coding via Drag-&-drop interface
- Kids build games and mobile apps by arranging blocks of code.
- Removes the need to know progamming syntax
- Kids transform ideas into animated stories and math art right away.
- Promotes progressive learning
- As kids learn fundamentals, Tynker introduces more advanced concepts including syntax driven programming.
8- TreehouseTreehouse lets you learn from over 1000 videos created by expert teachers on web design, coding, business, and much more. The library is continually refreshed with the latest on web technology so you'll never fall behind.
Coursera is a ownderful free platform where you can have access to courses on any topic you want . Type in"coding" in the search functionality and you will be provided with a wide range of courses from different univerisities on coding.
10- EdXEdX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities. Online courses from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other universities. Topics include biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, electronics, engineering, food and nutrition, history, humanities, law, literature, math, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, science, statistics and more. EdX is a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT.
LearnStreet offers free beginner courses on HTML, Ruby, Python and Jascript
Here are some great iPad apps for teaching coding :
Inspired by MIT's Scratch, the Hopscotch programming language works by dragging and dropping method blocks into scripts. When you're done with a script, press play to see your code in action! As you get more advanced, you can add more objects and use custom events, such as shaking and tilting the iPad, to run your code.
2- Cato's Hike
This is a cool app for learning about coding. Some of its features include :
- Simple programming interface using beautiful cards with pictures
- A visual manual to help guide parents and more interested users
- Loops, branches and if/else, goto labels, looking and chaining looks to look ahead, goto's, and simple memory using colored flags are the main tools used to introduce programming
- 60 levels and 12 tutorials (always working to add more!)
3- Hakitzu Elite
We think Codea is the most beautiful code editor you'll use, and it's easy. Codea is designed to let you touch your code. Want to change a number? Just tap and drag it. How about a color, or an image? Tapping will bring up visual editors that let you choose exactly what you want.
5- L2Code CSS
Are you CSS ready? Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the next step from basic HTML. If you want more control over the look and formatting of your webpage, then the L2Code CSS app will help you easily learn how. It provides step-by-step instructions and practice tutorials to help you master layout, colors, and fonts.
Move The Turtle is an educational application for iPhone and iPad that teaches children the basics of creating computer programs, using intuitive graphic commands.
Here is an awesome infographic featuring 5 reasons why you should teach kids to code . Click here to access it.