11 apps for coding: From beginners to masters

9. L2 Code CSS, iPhone/iPad/iPod, $2.99

Are your students CSS ready? Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the next step from basic HTML. If more advances students want more control over the look and formatting of a webpage, then the L2Code CSS app will help them easily learn how. It provides step-by-step instructions and practice tutorials to help them master layout, colors, and fonts.

10. Light-bot, iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, $2.99 [Lite version is Free]

This coding app is a programming puzzle game: a puzzle game that uses game mechanics that are firmly rooted in programming concepts. Light-bot lets players gain a practical understanding of basic control-flow concepts like procedures, loops, and conditionals, just by guiding a robot with commands to light up tiles and solve levels. Light-bot features 40 levels and 20 challenge stars to collect.

11. Move The Turtle, iPhone/iPad/iPod, $2.99

Move The Turtle teaches children the basics of creating computer programs, using intuitive graphic commands. A friendly Turtle will introduce children, step-by-step, to the basic concepts of programming by completing tasks, one after another. Kids can learn: How to plan complex activities composed of simple elements; how to reuse previously completed work; and how to use graphics, spatial orientation and sound in programming. Users will also become familiar with the notions of loops, procedures, variables and conditional instructions. Winner of a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and featured by Apple in the “New & Noteworthy” / Education section of the iTunes App Store.

Bonus: Four web-based resources to learn coding:

1. AppInventor

App Inventor provides the fastest way to build apps for Android phones and tablets. Even with no prior experience, users can learn to build apps within hours. Here, learn from USF Professor David Wolber, who has been teaching beginners programming with App Inventor since its inception in 2009. With step-by-step video screencasts, Wolber starts with the basics, then leads users through the development of successively more complex apps, teaching programming concepts along the way.

2. GameStar Mechanic

Gamestar Mechanic uses game-based quests and courses to help users learn game design and make their own video games. Go on Quests that power-up game design skills, take game design courses with professional instructors and get feedback from game industry pros, make original games, and publish created games in a community of over 250K designers.

3. Scratch

Scratch is an educational programming language and multimedia authoring tool that can be used by students, scholars, teachers, and parents for a range of educational and entertainment constructivist projects from math and science projects, including simulations and visualizations of experiments, recording lectures with animated presentations, to social sciences animated stories, and interactive art and music. Simple games can be made with it, as well. Playing with the existing projects available on the Scratch website, or modifying and testing any modification without saving it requires no online registration.

4. Tynker

Tynker, a course designed for children in grades 4-8, includes 16 self-paced lessons filled with guided instruction, puzzles, tutorials, quizzes, challenge missions and training videos. This introductory course covers basic programming concepts including creating scenes, playing sounds, moving characters, conditionals and repetition, animation, handling keyboard and mouse events, pen drawing, collision detection, keeping score and more. Students are introduced to concepts in an interactive framework with narration, videos, guided tutorials, and projects. They are also encouraged to innovate and build their own projects, and are assessed when they solve coding puzzles and take quizzes throughout the course.

Meris Stansbury

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at

Comments are closed.