Learning to Code
TaleBlazer games can be compelling resources which engage students in thoughtful role-playing, exploration or investigation. Students can design and play AR games designed around nearly any subject. Our TaleBlazer editor (Online and in an app) makes it easy for students to make their own AR games. Materials can be made available for educators who wish to use TaleBlazer with their students. Two already created games are MO Botanical Gardens and Chicago's Field Museum. iOS app link Android app link
Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. The global movement is usually planned for a week in December, but educators can plan it for anytime. The website will provide educators with tutorials to assist anyone to implement this hour, even if they have no coding experience! There are Hour of Code tutorials that work on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and some that require no computer at all! educators can join wherever they are, with whatever is available. “The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.”
Gamestar Mechanic assists students to learn to design video games! Free video game design platform that allows for classroom setup and teacher monitoring. Go on Quests that power up students game design skills and let them earn items they can use to make their own games. Make original games with a powerful, easy-to-use design tool and a library of hundreds of sprites. Publish their games and connect with a community of over 250,000 designers whose games have been played over 5 million times. The Educational Account offers many features and will allow students to learn and build many games...however, if this is the game platform for the class and the students...the "exclusive educator package" that opens up a huge amount of resources is $2 per student...one time fee...and the students retain access forever....into adulthood, if they want.
The Foos is a web platform that also has iOS and Android apps that build basic programming skills for the "PRE-READING" student. The first screen takes the student visually through the steps in a gaming environment that is enjoyable and instantly rewarding. The assistance built into the program is guided and well designed to assist students. A simple platform to help students build perseverance skills in a friendly environment.
Made with Code is designed by Google to encourage more girls to enter the field of coding this platform shows how coding can be more artistic, musical, and even fashionable. Projects start out simple and progress in difficulty and complexity to challenge every coder that tries. There are many resources available and a great page of mentors showing a great collection of interview with women of coding.
Thimble by Mozilla is an online programing platform that teaches students to program HTML (website coding) in a simple platform with guided instruction. Users can work on a project without creating an account, but to save work an account will need to be created. There are projects already online that users can choose to "remix" or they can start a project from "scratch".
StarLogo TNG is a downloaded program to learn coding. The website has tutorials, activities and curriculum units for classroom use grades 3-12. OFFLINE programs allows for avoiding any internet problems when developing the games/simulations. Developed by MIT.
Code.org is the key sponsor of "The Hour of Code", but also a full curriculum platform for coding in the classroom. The coursework can begin as early as "pre-literate"...no reading necessary, and anywhere after! Educators can create a teacher account in the Code Studio and find many resources to get classes on the path to coding. There are resources to not only incorporate hands on technology coding, but many "unplugged" lessons to gain the understanding of coding away from the machine in collaborative activities. Full lessons and units are available and connections are made to ELA, Math, Science and SEL Standards.
Alice.org has a free software program that can be downloaded on either a Windows, Mac or Linux machines to learn programming. The website offers extensive resources for educators to implement this application in the classroom, even if the educator is new to coding. OFFLINE coding program so internet problems can be avoided.
Kodu lets kids create games on the PC and Xbox via a simple visual programming language. Kodu can be used to teach creativity, problem solving, storytelling, as well as programming. Anyone can use Kodu to make a game, young children as well as adults with no design or programming skills. Kodu does need to be downloaded onto the PC to be played. This then will allows for use when the internet goes down, is having connection issues, or classrooms that may be out of the WiFi range.
Code Academy is a computer science platform to teach coding for upper elementary and secondary grade levels. The website has an abundance of resources to develop a course design to teach programming in many programming languages. Educators can manage student logins and follow their progression in their development of games and websites as they learn. The support base offered to teachers is fantastic and greatly helps even the most inexperienced teachers guide students in learning to code.
Scratch is a programming platform that builds interactive stories, video games or animations can all be accomplished on this platform. Students can share with each other and follow/leave feedback with students around the world on this platform. The platform is managed by MIT and is free of charge. Games are built with a drag and drop system of puzzle pieces that create a systematic routine of steps. Developing analytical skills and concepts that are essential for the 21st century student. In addition to the educator resources available on the main website there is also a ScratchEd Online Community where educators share resources. Here is the link. http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/ _
Mindcraft Eduational Edition - NEW*** This is not the previous MindcraftEDU version. Microsoft has purchased MindcraftEDU and has redesigned the educational version. The new version will be available for an "early access" download in June for free so teachers can download, try it out and provide feedback. Once the early access period is over...sometime later this year...the cost should be around $5/per user. The link provided here will connect you too information and a link to get connected to an update email group to be notified when the early access is open.
BotLogic.us is an educational puzzle game that challenges kids and adults to tackle complex logic problems while teaching valuable programming concepts. Using simple commands (and eventually code), players program their bots to navigate through progressively challenging mazes. As their skills improve, players earn rewards by using the fewest number of commands and go head-to-head with friends in programming tournaments. Educators can login to receive an access code that connects the game to your students grade/age levels. Students can also just click and go to the game. Works on a smart board as well for a great introduction to the activity.
Scratch JR. is the same platform as the website, but less choices to make it more simplistic and easier for earlier grade levels. This app works great for K-3rd grade students. Any projects created in this app can be incorporated in the Scratch App or the Scratch website platforms. This app is free and has no in-app purchases. ANDROID LINK
Move The Turtle -is a friendly turtle that will introduce children step by step to the basic concepts of programming in a colorful graphic environment. Who knows, maybe students will be the next outstanding programmer! Currently the cost is $3.99, but it is the simplest app for pre-k,k
Kodable is a companion piece to a free computer science curriculum on their website here. The curriculum is for K-5 grades with full lesson plans aligned to standards. It can also be used independently. This app is designed for ages 4-11 and is free, but does have extended levels available for additional fees.
Hopscotch offers learning to code in a easy and fun way. Hopscotch offers free, super simple videos that let users to make their own versions of their favorite games (like Geometry Dash!), create drawing apps, and build tons of cool projects. Plus, over 40 challenges help the, develop skills. Most importantly, the Hopscotch community is always around to answer questions, squash bugs, and give students ideas.