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November 10, 2017

5 Websites to Teach Coding

Written By: Ashley Shanley
X computer programming

Technology Takeover

Today’s technology is growing by leaps and bounds from one year to the next. The more the world relies on technology, the more students will need to learn proficiency and skills that make them valuable assets out in the workforce.  According to Code.org, “computing jobs are the number one source of new wages in the United States. [There are] 500,000 current openings…and they’re projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs…”

computer programming

Why is teaching coding important?

It’s 2017 and everyone needs to learn how to code! In the article, Coding, Robotics, Makerspaces Poised to Grow in Schools, reports state that “some trends are geared toward workforce development. Coding as literacy, the idea that basic computer science and computational skills are as important to teach as reading and writing, was identified as a trend shaping curriculum and driving the adoption of new software in the classroom over the next year or two. Coding offers students skills that are vital to a range of professional fields, including marketing, data analysis, and web development…”

Teaching computer programming or coding in elementary schools must start now. As teachers, not all of us know what coding is or how to teach the concepts.  Thankfully, the internet is here to save us.  I have researched and used websites in my classroom that teach students how to be successful programmers and I must say – every student has a fun and meaningful learning experience! Use these websites to teach coding to your students.

What is Coding?

Now that you know the basics, you can use the websites below to help students understand the concept of coding and to practice computer programming skills.

5 Websites to Teach Coding

1. Code.org

Code.org is a website that is heavily advertised for their “Hour of Code” program.  Some schools have a goal to have students complete one hour of coding per year.  How will they ever learn with only one hour?! Code.org came up with a great feature called Code Studio. This allows teachers to add their students in a class and track their progress as they complete coding levels.  It is a great assessment tool.

2. Scratch.MIT.edu

This site was founded  by MIT and provides essential coding skills to all children for 21st  century learning.  This site provides over 40 languages and is used in homes, schools, community centers, and libraries.  Using Scratch helps students create and share stories with each other and teachers. Students of all ages can use Scratch and it also allows for an interactive experience in the classroom.

3. Code Monkey

Code Monkey is a programming site allowing students to use real programming language.  This site is accompanied with lesson plans to help teachers without any computer programming experience.  The full curriculum is included and tracks student progress and achievements. The theme of the site is a cute monkey trying to gain his bananas back from a gorilla.  This game-based experience makes kids think they aren’t even coding at all!

4. Botlogic.us

Botlogic is a great puzzle game that is suitable for children of all ages. This computational puzzle teaches logic to students while introducing them to basic programming skills.  A small robot must make his way through the maze without running out of battery charge.  Students get creative by figuring out the least number of commands our robot friend must take to complete the maze.

5. Tynker

Tynker provides coding games for children ages 7 and up.  These fun-filled games begin with visual block based coding and eventually move on to Java and Python.  Along with Tynker, comes curriculum, standards, and training for educators (which most of us may need). Tynker provides STEM lessons, robotic lessons, as well as Minecraft for children to explore.

What other websites can you recommend to teach coding?

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