How to Teach Coding in the Classroom: Resources for Teachers

teach coding in the classroom

You’ve probably heard the buzz about coding in the classroom, and you may even have thought about integrating it into your classroom, but just where do you begin? In this post I will run through a few of the most popular online services that are designed to help you and your students get up and coding in no time at all.

1. Scratch and Tynker – One of the best introductions to coding can be had with either Scratch or Tynker. Both are free. Both give you the building blocks of creating code in a visual, sandbox environment. Scratch is a project that came from MIT. It used to be a program you had to download to use, but it can now be utilized completely online. Tynker is an offshoot of Scratch. It looks and works in a very similar way, but has a few more teacher management controls. Use Scratch or Tynker with elementary students and beyond.

2. Codecademy – I love Codecademy. It takes things one step beyond the basics and has you writing some actual code, but it is also a one-stop shop for all your coding needs. It has a variety of stepped tutorials that walk you through the programming language of your choice based on no previous experience. Javascript, Python, HTML, PHP and Ruby are among your choices for your first coding expedition.

codecademy

3. Code Avengers – This is a great site for middle school and above. If Codecademy lacks a little personality for you, try Code Avengers. It has a superhero-esque theme with a built-in gamification element that awards points, badges and games to keep the learning fun and addictive. HTML/CSS and Javascript are the main focus of this site.

4. Dash – With a sole focus on website development, Dash is a well laid-out, and easy to use online coding school for HTML/CSS and Javascript. It has 5 in-depth tutorials that will teach you how to create a personal website, a blog, a business website, a CSS robot, and a Madlibs game. At the end of each lesson, students are encouraged to use what they learned and create a project of their own outside of Dash. A good option for doing this might be the Editey apps that let you share websites hosted on Google Drive.

5. CodeHS – Aimed at Middle and High School students, CodeHS is inspired by Stanford University’s Introduction to Computer Science class. It has a step-by-step curriculum for schools to follow with videos, example code, and programming exercises. It is based around game design, so it helps keep the interest levels high with students.

codehs

6. Alice – Created at Carnegie Mellon University, Alice is a 3D programming environment that lets students create an animation to tell a story, play a game, or create a video for the web. It’s drag and drop interface is designed to mirror standard programming operations found in the likes of Java, C++ and C#. Alice is a program that has to be downloaded and installed on a computer, but it is available for Mac, PC and Linux.

7. TouchDevelop – Microsoft is throwing its own hat into the coding arena with TouchDevelop, an HTML5 based coding editor that lets you create apps on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phones. It even works offline! There are shades of Scratch to TouchDevelop, but the tutorials are easy to follow, and the emphasis on touch enabled mobile apps as your end product is a somewhat unique offering among this crowd.

What about iPad Coding Apps?

Interested in coding on the iPad? You can. There are an abundance of coding apps for the iPad that can be used to teach the basics of computer programming. You can see many of these in My BIG List of iPad Coding Apps for Kids.

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8 thoughts on “How to Teach Coding in the Classroom: Resources for Teachers

  1. Why not try our educational game Code Kingdoms – it teaches real Javascript but starts out with a simple drag-and-drop interface that Scratch users will be familiar with.

    We’re running workshops all around London at the moment and we’ve had really positive feedback from teachers – the kids can either learn through playing the levels or make their own based on a topic theme.

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