There is no such thing as being too young to learn how to code. Just like we learn alphabets at a tender age, children and students can start learning computer science skills alongside traditional subjects.
Various tools are ideal to help students of all ages acquire an important coding foundation, which they can continue building as they progress further in education. Learning tools can be selected depending on the instructor’s skill-level and the class grade for the student. The availability of such tools makes them useful resources for students, and manageable for the teacher.
We have compiled a list of nine coding websites and applications that may be helpful to young students.
Children are fascinated by computer games. What about giving them a platform to play those games and create games of their own at the same time? Whether they will want to pursue coding in the future or not, exposing them to it at a young age is crucial to shaping their problem-solving skills. There are visual code blocks which help the students to make their games with Coda Game. You’ll find step-by steps instructions on how to create games, making it easy for the learners. The app does not require the instructor to have prior coding experience as the process is easy to follow; you only need to know how to use an iPad. Coda game has animations with exciting colors to impress the kids, and offers perfect exposure to students to learn the basics of programming. It’s a good starting point, which can ignite a passion in those students who might want to form a future career in software engineering and programming.
Kids’ n Code
Kids n Code is another app that is available on iPad. Here, students are exposed to problem-solving skills and creativity as they work their way through using patterns and solving puzzles. It’s a user-friendly app which does not require any special programming skills by the tutor. The elaborate patterns are crucial to help students attain the foundation for coding. The app targets those in elementary level of schooling, and has MIT’s Scratch programming language behind its development. There are movable animations, and students are required to make simple commands to move them from one place to another, thereby experiencing first-hand how programming works.
Repl.it Classroom is an interactive website for student and teachers to use for advanced level coding, especially for high school students and teachers with computer science skills. The app allows the teachers to create curriculum and assignments, and then upload them to the students. The student completes the assignment and submits online; the instructor assesses, and gives feedback. The online teaching methodology is critical for making the student continue embracing the use of modern technology, as they prepare to tackle more complex programming languages. Apart from helping organize the curriculum, students can download and perform their programming assignments in their free time, creating a continuous learning process beyond normal teaching hours.
Pythonroom is an educational-friendly website which both experienced and inexperienced tutors can use with ease. Experienced instructors have a section where they can design their assignments and forward them to the class. For those instructors without prior programming skills, Pythonroom will handle the curriculum issues including presentation, grading and debugging, and at the same time respond to student’s questions relating to performance and learning. The advanced approach by this application makes it possible for both teacher and student to learn to code, and for the teacher to guide the class. Availability of extra learning materials for the tutor prepares them to be of extra help to students. With Pythonroom, districts and schools can get customized resources - and remember, all this is for free. It does not matter what your experience is as a coding teacher, because Pythonroom has resources to start you off.
Students looking to learn Swift can now download the Swifty app. This app has all the tutorials needed to learn, from the basics to more complex programming tasks. Learners using Swifty acquire the foundations of the Swift programming language at no cost, since the app can be download for free. As the learning progresses, they are required to pay $3.99 to access the teaching materials for the next chapter. Swifty has over 200 tutorials, thereby making it one of the best apps for learning how to code.
Kodable is yet another great app which is a good bet if you want to teach students the basics of programming. One of its outstanding benefits is the integration of problem-solving tasks as they learn through the different available levels. This app is free to download, and has colorful games and other resources which are engaging for students, and improve the learning experience. Kodable is another great app that supports STEM education.
For learners in their early grades, Tynker is the ideal tool for learning programming. This program prepares them to face more complex programming languages for high school level. One can hail Tynker as such an incredible app it prepares the students to face the computer skills demand of the 21st century. The learning experience is interactive, imaginative, and fun. And above all, the teachers don’t need to have mastered programming.
With the use of games, students are kept in high spirits to keep learning, which makes Tynker a distinguishable app by integrating fun in learning. Since everything is done online, students have the freedom to learn at their own pace. The learning process encourages vital life skills like problem-solving and critical thinking. The presence of code challenges and puzzles, coupled with interactive learning in a virtual classroom, prepares the students to complete the mandatory DIY projects found at the end of every module.
Daisy the Dinosaur
Daisy the Dinosaur, is another app that is very useful for teaching children the basics. It's an iOS app especially made for students between grades 6-8. The app is fun to interact with - one of its highest moments being when the dinosaur is fed with the commands, as it strolls from one side of the screen to the other. When not actively learning, students can switch to free play mode and enjoy gaming. The app is a free download, making it another great way of supporting STEM learning.
These are some of the fantastic apps and websites you can find on the market, offering learners an opportunity to start learning how to code from a very young age.
As a student or a tutor, do you already have experience with any of them? Let others hear how you got your basic coding skills! The comments section is waiting for you.