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Monday, August 11, 2014

Coding for Kids

Update: Scratch Jr. just came out with a free app for kids 5-7 years old.  (It's also available in the WSD app portal).

One of my favorite memories having to do with computers when I was a kid was learning how to write code and having a machine do something that I had programmed it to do. I remember spending hours copying code from magazines or writing code in basic, creating Choose Your Own Adventure books or simple games. When I got to junior high we got to program the computers to make our names scroll down the screen and do simple math problems. It was awesome.

Nowadays students should learn basic programming skills not necessarily to become coders and gamers, although that's a noble pursuit given where our world is headed, but simply to have a better technological understanding of what's behind all of the gadgets they use everyday. There are a handful of great apps and websites designed to introduce kids to coding that I've described below. There are many out there but these are the ones I've had my kids test-drive:

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