Learning to Code Online
There are many tools and resources for learning to code today that can make a difficult task fun and easy. The learning curve has been smoothed out for all learners from pre-kindergarten and upward. Regardless of your age or experience you can find the right tools to fit your needs.
Coding could be the single most valuable skill anyone can learn today. It may be the ultimate tool for computation AND communication, and is often recognized as a sort of universal language within computer science. The tech economy is booming, because technology skills are valuable in nearly every industry.
Astrophysicists simulate the life cycles of stars by making millions of calculations based on the laws of physics, meteorologists and climate scientists simulate atmospheric movement in the same way, lighting engineers program the visuals for rock concerts, etc. Computer science is only one of a great many fields that use coding as a tool. ~ Jacob Brock (Computer Scientist, University of Rochester)
Schools are wisely beginning to add coding into the curriculum. If you're not a student at one of those schools there is definitely no reason to wait. Today, you can find all the resources and support that you need in order to learn how to code online, for free.
The future Is Here Today
Learning to code can be easy and fun as well as highly rewarding, and kids are like sponges soaking everything up. Important skills are mastered very quickly as connections are made in the young person's brain without the need for conscious effort.
Do you have bright, young and creative kids? Definitely introduce them to the resources at the end of this blog post!
Today digital natives develop as second nature the skills necessary to succeed with technology. They are comfortably immersed in our technological society from the moment they are born. All they need is access to the right resources and support in order to take full advantage. It's amazing what kids are capable of, so give them the chance and introduce them when they are young. Introducing kids to computer science, and allowing them to start coding while they are really young is a wonderful gift.
Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains. ~ Bill Gates (Chairman, Microsoft)
Learning To Code And Learning To Think
How humans represent and process information is generally considered different from how software does. However, there is much to be learned about our own thinking and constructs from the study of computers and computation. Problem solving skills, precise interpretation of data, understanding of simple and complex systems and meta cognition are all healthy side effects of learning to think like a computer scientist. Every person in every profession can benefit from developing these skill sets. Computer science is a lot more like science, math, history and social studies than many people realize. Everyone should be introduced to it.
Coding is Not Just For The Solitary Geek
The stereotypical computer coder is a hacker nerd who lives in his mom's basement, right? Wrong! Coding is for everyone and people do it collaboratively now too. Working together with code helps to eliminate mistakes and speeds things up. Here are two of our BrightOS students, from Seabury School, in a video about pair programming with Code.org!
Learn more about Semira and Fiona here: BrightOS Students Win Startup Weekend.
Free Websites That Teach Coding and Computer Science
Scratch is one of our favorite tools for learning programming. It is a visual programming language created by the folks over at MIT for beginners, but it also scales really well, allowing more ambitious young programmers to realize their goals.
Home base for The Hour of Code, code.org also has Code Studio with great online courses.
You can learn coding, game design and graphic design with 3D printing. Awesome courses online at Tech Rocket.
Khan Academy has a fantastic computer programming curriculum.
Play around with code in a simple and fun format.
Stencyl is a game-making platform inspired by Scratch's snapping block visual programming language. You can create simple games for iOS, Android, Linux, Windows and Mac systems.
Download Hackety Hack to learn Ruby, which is a free and open source programming language used for all kinds of programs. Hackety Hack is a wonderful tool for beginners.
There's a nice free demo for this engaging little app. Light Bot is a fun game that allows you to solve puzzles by thinking like a computer scientist.
A fun way to learn coding if you like RPG games and cartoon graphics.
You can learn a lot here about building web pages, apps and games - even with the free trial.
You can get the basics here with simple exercises that make learning how to code feel like a game.
Intro courses are free at Tynker and they are broken into age-appropriate categories so that learners start in the right place.
iPad Apps For Learning to Code on The Go
Apple looks to be positioning itself as a leader in the field of mobile learning. These iPad apps also help you to learn coding.
This brand new Apple app rated for children aged four and over promises to be a fun and easy way to learn how to code. Have a blast solving interactive puzzles, exploring and creating your own programs.
Daisy the Dinosaur
A great way to introduce the young ones. Daisy the Dinosaur is a free iPad app designed for ages 4+.
Computer programming fundamentals in the form of a fun game for players from kindergarten to 5th grade.
We hope this list is helpful to budding computer scientists who are just starting out and learning how to code. Are there any free resources we missed off the list?