Technology is growing at an alarming rate, and learning basic programming skills has become a necessity for grown-ups and children alike.
Learning to code and program can help kids develop vital critical thinking and problem-solving skills and encourage them to be more than just consumers of technology. Teaching kids coding and programming, from simple commands to complex programs, can be made easier when done with tools and formats that they are already familiar with.
Tablets and smartphones have come to replace the Barbies and GI Joes of yesteryears. To teach kids to code and program, it’s easier to use common smart device tools such as emojis. Emojis are very popular in social media and on the web, and while they are mostly used as smileys and emoticons for chatting, they can also function as unique educational tools.
Whether your kids are attending a regular school or are being home-schooled, Emoji-themed games, puzzles, and activities can be organized to teach them coding and programming skills. These activities are not just fun ways to learn how to code; they also teach without children realizing it. In a classroom setting, activities should be incorporated to teach the kids skills necessary for coding, like skills in problem-solving, order of operations, logical flow, and simple code-based operations.
Free Resources for Learning and Teaching Coding
It’s no gainsaying that a robust knowledge of coding and programming is a must for teachers who are to take kids lessons on coding and programming. It is necessary that teachers looking to teach kids to code and program should be able to see things from the eyes of children. Regardless of your level of expertise, the list below features the best free resources available to teach and learn coding.
Codemoji.com: Codemoji's unique approach to teaching programming ensures that the user has fun while learning basic coding skills applicable to all areas of STEM.
Code.org: This free website is a great starting point for coding novices. It shares plenty of useful online apps, resources, and even locations to learn coding.
CodeAcademy: This user-friendly interactive website teaches kids basic coding skills through fun and simple exercises structured like games.
Code Avengers: Although not as eye-catching as the other options, Code Avengers offers free intro classes on web design and development, app and game building. There is a free version and a paid version of $19- $39 per course.
Code Combat: This website is ideal for kids aged 10 and above. Code Combat uses an interactive, competitive gameplay mode to teach kids.
Scratch: Designed by students from MIT, Scratch is aimed at kids of ages 8-16. On the site, they can play Lego-like games and build anything they like.
Beyond these websites that teach coding and programming, game designers have begun to design games aimed at teaching kids to code. Some of these games include COJI (WowWee), Nancy Drew: Codes and Clues (Her Interactive), Think and Learn Code-a-pillar (Fisher-Price), and Code Master (ThinkFun).