In our modern world, coding has ascended from a niche technical skill to an essential part of education. It’s not merely about understanding the intricate workings of computers but also about nurturing a rich tapestry of skills and competencies that can propel students’ success, both within the classroom and beyond.
Embarking on the adventurous journey of coding and untangling the threads of programming languages offers students a unique opportunity to uncover the mystique of the digital realm. Along this path, they naturally acquire an array of invaluable soft and social skills.
From critical and creative thinking to design and flexible thinking, the coding journey instills learners with a solid foundation for decision-making, problem-solving, and strategic planning.
Coding also fosters self-expression, logical reasoning, mathematical acumen, divergent thinking, and systems thinking. Essentially, learning to code is like learning a new language that opens up a world of possibilities, preparing our learners not just for school, but for life itself.
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 which you can access at our section Coding Resources here in Educators Technology.
Best Websites for Learning Coding
Here is a list of some of the best websites for learning coding:
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.
2. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a free online education platform that offers a broad range of courses in various disciplines, including mathematics, science, arts, humanities, and computer programming. It’s designed with the mission to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.
Each topic is presented through video tutorials, interactive coding exercises, and projects that allow students to apply what they’ve learned. The content is self-paced, which means students can progress through the material at a pace that’s comfortable for them.
Apart from this, Khan Academy also offers a robust set of tools for teachers, including student progress tracking and assignment tools. This makes it not only a great resource for individual learners but also a powerful supplement for classroom instruction.
Overall, Khan Academy is a valuable resource for anyone starting their journey in coding, offering a foundation in various programming languages and concepts.
Tynker is a creative computing platform aimed at providing children the resources and guidance they need to learn programming. Tynker offers self-paced online courses, enabling students to learn coding at their own comfort and pace from home.
These courses range from beginner to advanced levels, covering a variety of coding languages and concepts. In addition to this, Tynker also provides a comprehensive and engaging programming curriculum for schools, making it an effective educational tool for both individual learners and classroom environments. Its hands-on, visually engaging approach makes learning coding fun and accessible, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills in young learners.
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 is an interactive online platform designed to teach coding to students, predominantly using the Python programming language. It provides a unique blend of a drag-to-text toolkit that helps students transition from visual block-based coding to more abstract text-based coding, easing their learning journey.
The platform incorporates a variety of built-in lessons that deliver a structured approach to learning diverse coding concepts. To assist teachers in managing classrooms, Codesters includes a robust learning management system that allows for student progress tracking, assignment grading, and custom curriculum design.
Scratch is an innovative, free online platform developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It’s designed to introduce coding to children and teenagers by allowing them to create their own interactive stories, games, and animations.
The users can also share their creations within the Scratch online community, fostering an environment of collaboration and mutual learning. The platform primarily utilizes a drag-and-drop block-based coding system, making it highly accessible and beginner-friendly.
Scratch’s core objective is not just to teach coding but also to cultivate essential 21st-century skills. By using Scratch, young people learn to think creatively as they design their projects, reason systematically as they debug their code, and work collaboratively as they share and discuss their creations with others. These skills are invaluable in navigating life and work in the modern digital world.
Minecraft Code Builder is an educational tool that uses the popular game Minecraft as a context for learning coding. With this platform, students can program within the Minecraft environment using a variety of programming tools such as Code.org, Tynker, Scratch, and Microsoft MakeCode.
This flexibility allows students of various skill levels to learn and create at their own pace. In addition to this, Minecraft also offers the “Hour of Code” tutorial which provides a free, one-hour introduction to the fundamentals of coding.
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.
9- 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.
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”.
11- 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.
12- 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.
13. The Odin Project
The courses are structured to provide a logical and comprehensive path through the material. Each course is comprised of lessons, assignments, and projects that build on each other incrementally, allowing students to learn by doing.
A unique aspect of The Odin Project is its focus on creating a community around learning. Students are encouraged to work together on projects, contribute to the curriculum, and support each other through the learning process.