Love to Code? Want to Learn to Code? Check out these awesome online resources!
Code Monster from Crunchzilla– “Code Monster is simple but mostly effective as a self-led journey of programming discovery. The hands-on manipulation and immediate feedback can give kids satisfaction and joy in discovering how what they’re writing changes what they’re seeing. It should also help them understand how the different pieces of code work. This can be a fun exercise, even for kids who wouldn’t normally be excited about computer programming.” – Common Sense Media
Hopscotch —“Teaching kids programming can be difficult, but Hopscotch smooths the way with its kid-friendly interface and pre-built blocks. Unlike some of the other kid-coding apps out there, Hopscotch is open-ended and encourages kids to come up with their own projects.” – PC Magazine
Cargo-Bot—“Kids learn a full-range of programming skills in a fun, engrossing game that also demonstrates what they can create themselves using the skills they’re learning. Cargo-Bot is a simple concept that packs a challenging punch and teaches valuable programming skills. . . . The step-by-step logic that teaches kids to tackle a bigger problem by breaking it into steps will build better programmers and also help kids in many tasks and subject areas.” – Graphite.org
CodeMonkey—“A great introduction to coding with solid teacher support that gets kids using a real programming language and digging into some meatier concepts than other early coding tools.” – Graphite.org
Move the Turtle— “I highly recommend it for all kids, whether or not they want to get into programming. The kind of thinking required to solve the tasks in the app is important for everyone to learn, for every field of study.” – Geek Dad in Wired.com
Alice— Alice is a desktop app developed by Carnegie Mellon. More advanced than other programming tools for kids, Alice teaches the fundamentals of programming in a 3D setting. This makes it ideal for teens. While working in the app, students can see the code behind the projects they create on the screen. Programming concepts are learned while students create animated movies and basic video games that they can then share on the internet. Note: Java runtime is needed for Alice.
MIT App Inventor—App Inventor is a cloud-based tool maintained by MIT. Much like the popular coding app Scratch, App Inventor has drag-and-drop coding blocks. However, App Inventor includes all methods, functions, and coding elements that a student would need to create an Android app. This makes it ideal for middle school kids and up. Students can build apps right in their web browser. The website offers support, but there are no step-by-step instructions to guide students, another reason the tool is best for older students.
Hackety Hack—Hackety Hack is a downloadable app where kids write simple programming code. Students learn the Ruby programming language. Then they are walked through simple programming examples. They can apply what they learn by creating their own programs. The programs they create are basic, including how to ask questions and draw shapes. Hackety Hack is designed to enhance students reading, logic, and critical thinking abilities. Therefore, it is ideal for teens.