Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Free Resources Help Kids (and Educators) Learn to Code Step by Step


Hoping to get students into coding? Enter Codecademy. The New York-based startup, which teaches users how to code through a free, interactive website, is now packaging its popular online lessons into free, bite-sized kits for teachers and librarians to launch their own mini-Codecademies in class or after school. – via The Digital Shift

Codecademy is a fun and social way to learn coding for free. The learning takes place through the interactive lessons and projects. The installation-free tool combines instruction and the programming in one interface, which frees you up to work with students one-on-one. The free kit contains everything you need to start your own after school programming club, even if you don’t have a background in computer science.

There are two different types of courses—a game-based one that teaches JavaScript and another that covers HTML and the CSS programming language, in which creators end up creating a website in a final exercise. At the welcome page of the kit, it says:

Why teach programming?
Kids spend an increasing portion of their lives interacting with and through screens about which they know little or nothing.
The more they do so, the more they accept the values of Facebook, Google, or iTunes as pre-existing conditions of the universe. Instead of opening their minds, technology shuts them down. Compounding all this, the few places most young people have available to learn about computers tend to teach them how to use and conform to existing software applications rather than how to make their own.
Introducing kids to code reveals to them how computers are really “anything” machines, capable of doing pretty much anything we program into them. It gives them the ability both to read and to write in the foundational languages of the digital age and, in doing so, fundamentally transforms their perspective from that of user to maker, consumer to creative.   -Douglas Rushkoff

teaching kids to code

From Codecademy’s blog:

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for anyone to get started so we’ve included everything you need. No installing, no downloading, and no background in programming necessary (the kit comes with curriculum). Best of all, it’s completely free.

We worked with teachers across the world to put together a whole year of learning, starting students at the beginning and showing them the magic of programming through real projects in real programming languages. Kids love creating and customizing their code through our interactive interface. And when they’re done, they with web pages and projects that they have built themselves.

Exposing students to programming is one of the most important things we can do—and we can’t do it without teachers. That’s why we’re also launching the “teachers’ lounge” for teachers to share stories, ideas, and support among themselves. We’re excited to learn even more from the great teachers who are using Codecademy!

Read more and get started at After-School Programming. If you sign up and give us your address, we’ll mail you a kit with flyers, the curriculum book, letters to parents, and more. If you’d prefer to get them online, it’s all there as well.

Several hundred schools around the world have already requested the kits. One teacher Kathy Epperson from McAuliffe International School said :

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg all began writing code at a young age. We’re really missing the boat if we don’t expose kids to programming.

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  1. Learn Coding Like Learning New Languages | Classroom Aid
  2. Computational Thinking: A Digital Age Skill for All | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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