6 Great Websites for Teaching Students Coding

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Coding is the sine qua non of success in a knowledge economy society. It has become a primordial skill in K-12 education and beyond. The pedagogical importance of coding, besides the technical part of helping students better understand the digital world surrounding them, is that it combines a host of other important skills such as strategic and critical thinking, problem-solving, collaborative team work, systems thinking, and creative self expression among many others. 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, and mobile apps. However, in today’s post we are particularly highlighting these 6 great websites that we came across in MineCraft Education Edition. These are tools you can use with your students in class to help them develop coding skills and thrive as budding content creators.

1- Microsoft MakeCode

Provides resources, tools, lesson activities, tutorials and projects to enhance students understanding of computer science. Using Block Editor students, even those with no prior coding experience, can immediately start creating their programs by a simple drag and drop of coloured blocks. The Simulator tool provides students with feedback on how their programs are performing and helps them with debugging their code. Microsoft MakeCode also features a JavaScript editor students can use to engage in different coding projects.

2- Tynker

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.’

3- Code.org

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 over 10% of students in all over the world.

4- Codesters

‘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.’

5- Scratch

‘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

This is a featured provided by Minecraft Education Edition. It ‘allows students to learn coding in Minecraft using tools including Code.org, Tynker, Scratch and Microsoft MakeCode. Students can use blocks of code or JavaScript to build and create in Minecraft. Minecraft Hour of Code also offers a free, one-hour introduction to coding basics.’