Online education company Pluralsight recently hosted a series of programming crash courses for children in several Utah schools. The company offers three free programming courses for kids, and CEO Aaron Skonnard said the company hopes to offer dozens more by the end of 2013.
“When we talk about teaching kids to code, we’re usually talking about teaching them to start thinking about logic,” Skonnard said. “Every child in our schools should have an opportunity to be exposed to this; this is now becoming a core essential skill that people need to be exposed to.”
Computer science education and coding advocates point to a number of websites, resources, mobile apps, and more to help teachers and students learn more about coding:
- After-School Programming is an offshoot of Codecademy.
- CodeHS offers instructional materials and tutors to help people learn about computer science.
- Google offers computer science and coding competitions and summer programs.
- Scratch, developed at MIT, is a free program designed to help children learn coding by programming their own stories, games, and animations.
- Hopscotch is an iPad app “inspired by” Scratch.
- Alice teaches students 3D computer programming. Students create stories or videos, or play games.
- Daisy the Dinosaur, from the creators of Hopscotch, targets children as young as five. Children use coding to make Daisy dance across the screen.
- Code Monster lets kids view a split screen to see what their coding commands look like as they’re executed.
- Girls Who Code offers clubs and summer programs for high school girls interested in learning more about computer programming.
- Lego Mindstorms uses different programming languages for building materials that students use to create programmable robots.