There are lots of resources available to help students grow as coders and computational thinkers—and many are free! Some of these platforms begin at basic levels and can be utilized by beginners as young as preschool age. Others offer tutoring in programming languages, while still others provide interactive experiences that utilize diverse aspects of coding.
Here are 11 useful coding platforms:
Coding and the Government of Canada (CanCode)
Learn more about local and national programs that the Government of Canada and CanCode are funding and that are available to your students.
Code HS is a great self-paced coding learning platform that allows teachers and students to explore a variety of interests.
Made With Code
Made with Code is geared toward teen girls and provides various free projects like creating a Snapchat geofilter, a personal emoji, or a music mixer. Created by Google and supported by other organizations such as Mozilla, Girl Scouts, and Pixar, this interest-stimulating website is updated frequently and includes many resources, such as a party kit, to help parents and teachers get started.
The Lifelong Kindergarten group of MIT’s Media Lab created Scratch, a coding platform geared toward younger coders. By using a drag-and-drop block style, students can create animations, games and simulations without any previous knowledge of computer programming. The website includes curriculum guides and an online community with meetups, tips and tutorials for parents and teachers. To view completed projects, click here or view a short video promo to get started.
Hopscotch is geared toward younger students. Free for the iPhone and iPad, it includes a teacher account section and tutorials, and it doesn’t require a signup. Students can code their own apps and games in a fun, fast ast drag-and-drop platform.
A more formal learning experience, CodeAcademy offers courses in coding with a project-based format, such as creating a website or a front-end application. The free section is limited but still valuable, with easy-to-follow interactive content. Code Academy’s material is appropriate for students with some experience, such as high-level middle school or high school students.
Older elementary school students will enjoy Code Combat’s interactive gameplay mode, which guides learning using a choice of programming languages. Signup is not needed. A menu of possible commands is provided, and on-screen prompts correct syntax errors. A free introductory course is also available, and a paid license provides access to other courses and features. The free game play levels are well crafted, engaging, and instructive.
Your students can learn Ruby, one of the most popular and useful programming languages available today. A quick, free download will prepare your students to learn Ruby. Ruby is a programming language available in an open-source format.
Similar to the block system in Scratch, Stencyl guides students to create games and simple programs across many platforms such as iOS, Android, Flash, Windows, and Linux. The Education Centre offers several curriculum resources.
Tech Rocket is founded by iD Tech and hosts a free platform along with paid features. Classes and an arcade section are accessible via a free signup. Three different pathways begin the experience: coder, designer, or game developer. oper. Some downloads may be required, but the free courses and classes in Java, Python, Ruby and others are interactive and worth the effort.
7 Steps of
Determine sources from which you will collect data, and decide which qualitative and quantitative data to collect.
Produce and evaluate charts, and use appropriate statistical methods to test a hypothesis.
Identify patterns to make predictions, create rules and solve other problems.
Take large complicated problems, and break them down into manageable pieces.
Identify similarities and remove details to create a solution that works for many different problems.
Test, tweak and refine an object before building it in real life using design software to predict outcomes.
Create solutions using step-by-step instructions that operate like a road map for performing a task.