Coding for Kids

While not every student might want to write their own software, understanding the big ideas of coding is a skill that all students would benefit from, even the very young ones. Understanding the key ideas of computational thinking – identifying patterns, thinking algorithmically, manipulating data, solving real problems, etc – is an important step in helping our students build mastery over their world.

This presentation aims to take you on a guided tour through some of the resources available to your students to help them learn the principles of creating code.  It starts by looking at a range of desktop and mobile apps suitable for teaching very young students to program, right through to tools and websites that can help your older students learn to hack code, and much more.

If you do actually try any of this stuff out, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

PS: This is my fourth contribution to the K12 Online Conference, and I think it’s a great format for an online event. I like how it drip feeds out a bunch of presentations over a 2 week period online, but continues to make them available as a permanent archive. There is quite a collection of presentations in there now. Check them out!

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3 thoughts on “Coding for Kids

  1. That was great Chris. I have a number of students who love coding. so far this year we have looked at AppInventor and Greenfoot JAVA and Gamemaker in IST. We have done Appinventor, Python and VB.net in Software design. If I could teach kids to code in different languages all day I think I would be a very happy camper. Sam Pennington

    • THanks Sam! I’ll share the credit for this preso with you because I started to think about doing it after I went to your Android App Inventor class at Sydney Uni earlier this year. I’ve been doing lots of Scratch with my kids and then did your AppInventor class and then did the Python course as part of the NCSS, so I was thinking about how much sense this stuff makes when you get a little bit immersed in it and try lots of variations of coding. I’m not an expert on any of them by any means, but every new thing I learn helps add to that overall understanding of the big ideas of coding in general… and it often comes in handy.

      To me, the point is not whether all our kids should become computer programmers… clearly they are not all going to, and nor should they… but that all kids would benefit from understanding the big ideas behind algorithmic and computational thinking. And those that get the bug will have a starting point to take it further.

  2. Love the presentation and the million things that you suggest. Do you have a list of all the tools that you are prepare to share. On different note: what do you think of greenfoot as an introduction to java. There is even a online video the joy of coding which introduces a few concepts and which very well made (well I like them at least)

That's all well and good, but what do YOU think?