You’ve probably heard a lot about coding lately.  It’s become a sort-of buzz word among the education community.  But what is it, why should our students learn it, and how do we teach it?

What is coding?

Here’s the short version: Coding allows for the creation of computer software, apps, and websites. It is a sequential, set of instructions that computers understand.  Anything you do on your digital devices is possible because of code.  Operating systems, apps, browsers, and websites are all made using code.  Anyone can learn to code.

Why is it important to teach students to code?  

Coding will quickly become one of the most important job skills of the future.  It should be taught as a basic academic skill in school, just like reading and math.  Learning to code allows students to develop problem-solving strategies, creatively design projects, communicate ideas effectively, and helps lay a foundation for success in other academic areas.  Students will learn vital skills that are essential for future job success.  In the next decade, it is believed that there will be more jobs in computer sciences than there are qualified people to fill them.

How Do I Teach It?

Using the following FREE online resources, teaching code to your students will be cinch!

Google’s Made With Code – Geared toward girls and young women, Google’s Made With Code offers coding projects for all comfort levels.

 

Code.org – Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages.  Choose from a variety of fun, interactive, game-like coding activities for all grade and experience levels.

 

Scratch – Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations.  Scratch targets students ages 8-16.

 

Thimble from Mozilla – Thimble is an online code editor that makes it easy to create and publish your own web pages while learning HTML, CSS & JavaScript.

 

Tynker Coding For Kids – Tynker is a complete learning system that teaches kids to code. Kids begin experimenting with visual blocks, then progress to JavaScript and Python as they design games, build apps, and make incredible projects.

 

Khan Academy Hour of Code – Hour of Drawing with Code. Learn how to program drawings using JavaScript by designing your very own snowman. Try it on your own or with your class!
 

 

 

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