TeachersFirst Edge - Coding

 

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Microsoft Touch Develop - Microsoft

Grades
4 to 12
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Create apps to work on any device using Microsoft Touch Develop. Launch Touch Develop to access tutorials and showcases to begin. The editor adapts to your skill level from beginner...more
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Create apps to work on any device using Microsoft Touch Develop. Launch Touch Develop to access tutorials and showcases to begin. The editor adapts to your skill level from beginner to expert. Step by step video directions provides information on how codes work and then allows you to create code for each step.

tag(s): coding (62), Computational Thinking (14), computers (99), critical thinking (119), design (93), problem solving (286)

In the Classroom

Use Touch Develop as a computer center or during Hour of Code lessons. Encourage students to view programs others have created, then try making their own. If your school has an after-school computer club, Touch Develop is perfect for use in teaching and practicing coding. Consider pairing students who have more computer experience with those who have less. Touch Develop is also an excellent opportunity for "new" coders as it allows them to create and share interesting apps with little background knowledge of computer programming. Have students share their completed apps during a computer or STEM showcase at your school.

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Minecraft Education Edition - Microsoft and Mojang AB

Grades
2 to 12
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Promote creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration through game play with Minecraft Education Edition. This version of the popular game includes features for classroom use including...more
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Promote creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration through game play with Minecraft Education Edition. This version of the popular game includes features for classroom use including documentation of work and a secure environment for class play. In addition to the software download, this site includes a small base of lesson plans, classroom community support forums, and a My Classroom feature. My Classroom allows teachers to create a private world for students to join enabling them to work together in the same world.

tag(s): coding (62), game based learning (120), gamification (77)

In the Classroom

Make use of the features provided in the education edition of Minecraft to allow learning through gameplay. Ask students to use the camera and portfolio features to document decision making and progress through games. Use features within the game to learn about history, for example, have students import 3-dimensional structures such as the Roman Colosseum to explore and create experiences from that time. Instruct students create a story for creative writing projects. Encourage students to retell a story through a Minecraft experience. Use Minecraft features to teach math lessons on shape, volume, area, and more. Discover more ideas at Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorials, reviewed here.

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GameMaker Studio - YoYo Games

Grades
4 to 12
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GameMaker Studio uses drag and drop features for creating online games without having to learn code. Download the software for use on Windows machines running XP and higher. Tutorials...more
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GameMaker Studio uses drag and drop features for creating online games without having to learn code. Download the software for use on Windows machines running XP and higher. Tutorials provide instructions for beginners and leads learners through complete instructions for creating and sharing games. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (62), game based learning (120), gamification (77), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Use GameMaker Studio as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class for beginners and experienced coders. Display GameMaker on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you progress through the steps to code a game, then have students create and explore on their own. After school clubs and activities can use GameMaker to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Hippani - Hippani Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional...more
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional looking results. There is a free and professional version. The free version allows you to create HTML animation and GIF's. With the free version, you can also test out the professional version during the free 30 days trial. Works with Windows and Mac OS X, however, the web apps created can be converted to iOS, Android and Windows phone apps via another program.

tag(s): animation (66), coding (62), images (272)

In the Classroom

Download Hippani's software onto classroom computers to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Then, for those who show an aptitude for coding, take advantage of the free 30-day use of the professional edition. Have students browse through the gallery and tutorials to learn about the features of Hippani. Allow them to explore and create on their own as part of your MakerSpace or as a center. Challenge students to use this software to create animated GIFs such as demonstrating how simple machines work, changes in landforms over time, or significant events from novels.

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StackEdit - Benoit Schweblin

Grades
8 to 12
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StackEdit is a free MarkDown editor offering several options for creating, saving, and collaborating with documents. Choose the "Start Writing Now" link to create a document ready for...more
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StackEdit is a free MarkDown editor offering several options for creating, saving, and collaborating with documents. Choose the "Start Writing Now" link to create a document ready for publication to blogs. Go through the tutorial and then click on the folder symbol all the way to the right of the top menu bar. Select new document. Start typing your document adding images, hyperlinks, and more using the menu bar. The split screen allows users to preview content in HTML and see how the final view will look while creating it, making it easy to see the end product. Open, save, and collaborate using Google documents and DropBox content. Publish the finished product to WordPress, GitHub, and other blogging platforms, or save as a PDF. StackEdit is simple and intuitive, and first-timers will be very comfortable using it. At the time of this review, StackEdit ran very slowly on Chrome.

tag(s): blogs (86), coding (62), editing (69)

In the Classroom

Sometimes students (and teachers) get distracted by the appearance of a project instead of focusing on the content. Using StackEdit and Markdown language offers the opportunity to set up and format text before adding the "bells and whistles." Have students use StackEdit to create and polish content for blogs or other projects requiring HTML, then upload and add images, graphs, and maps later.

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Microsoft Project Siena - Microsoft

Grades
6 to 12
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Project Siena is a tool for creating Windows-based apps without any prior app-building experience. View the video tutorials and download sample apps, then follow the link to get Siena...more
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Project Siena is a tool for creating Windows-based apps without any prior app-building experience. View the video tutorials and download sample apps, then follow the link to get Siena on your computer, this only works on Windows operating systems. Modify the sample apps for your own use, or use them to understand how to include features and build your own app.

tag(s): coding (62), computers (99), critical thinking (119), problem solving (286), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Share Project Siena with students interested in computer coding. Have students modify sample apps to demonstrate an understanding of concepts. For example, modify the Bridge Tutor app to demonstrate how to conduct a science experiment or change the Health Cost Calculator to become an interactive tool for learning personal finance.

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Thimble - Mozilla

Grades
6 to 12
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Thimble is an online tool for teaching HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and creating web pages. Start from scratch or choose a remix project as a learning tool. Each remix includes a ...more
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Thimble is an online tool for teaching HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and creating web pages. Start from scratch or choose a remix project as a learning tool. Each remix includes a tutorial with instructions about changing and personalizing content. When working on a creation Thimble offers a side-by-side view, one for the coding portion, the other showing the appearance and content as it shows on a web page. Choose to show desktop or mobile device appearance. Email registration is required to publish and save web pages to Mozilla Webmaker. Once created, users can copy and paste the HTML into any web page host.

tag(s): coding (62), computers (99), multimedia (62), tutorials (49)

In the Classroom

Use Thimble as an excellent tool for students to learn to code through simple projects. Thimble doesn't offer step-by-step directions, so it is more useful for students who love to explore and interact on their own. Have students use Thimble's Remixes to create comic book explanations of science concepts or social studies events. Use the Six Word Summer Teaching Toolkit as a great way to teach summarizing, and of course, this toolkit for summarizing will work for many other topics!

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Flappy Code - Code Studio

Grades
K to 12
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Create a Flappy Bird game using drag and drop code, then save it to your phone to play over and over! Follow the 10 step directions to add code to ...more
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Create a Flappy Bird game using drag and drop code, then save it to your phone to play over and over! Follow the 10 step directions to add code to your workspace as you make your bird fly toward a target, give directions for the end of game results, and edit actions and speed of the game. When finished, share games via URL or social networking links. The intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (62), game based learning (120), gamification (77), logic (236)

In the Classroom

Use Flappy Code as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class. Display Flappy Code on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you progress through the steps to code a game, then have students create and explore on their own. After school clubs and activities can use Flappy Code to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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This resource would be engaging for students just learning how to code. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Code School - Code School LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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The Code School free account provides access to twelve introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free...more
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The Code School free account provides access to twelve introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free offerings. Courses offer several levels of training including videos and challenges. Earn digital badges as you complete each course.

tag(s): coding (62), computers (99), critical thinking (119), engineering (130), problem solving (286), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. Courses are self-paced, so differentiation is easy. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Since registration is via email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Dash - General Assembly

Grades
4 to 12
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs ...more
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs game. Choose your project, then follow prompts in each accompanying slide show to add coding and receive feedback. Dash also highlights skills learned to view progress throughout tutorials. Click on any learned skill for a quick review lesson. The one-minute intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (62), computers (99), critical thinking (119), problem solving (286), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Use Dash to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered the math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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Vidcode - vidcode.io

Grades
5 to 12
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Vidcode provides beginner project tutorials for learning to code through projects designed to match teens' interests, specifically for teen girls. Although designed for girls, all students...more
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Vidcode provides beginner project tutorials for learning to code through projects designed to match teens' interests, specifically for teen girls. Although designed for girls, all students will benefit from the projects available on the site. Free projects include topics such as Make Your Own Filter, Make a Stop Motion, and Doodle SFX: Magic. Follow the step by step directions to drag and drop code to create and share projects. The best way to find the free projects is to click the Pricing link at the top of the homepage, then select "Start Coding" under the free column to view and access the free projects. Use email, Google, or Microsoft 365 to register. Once finished with the project, share it using the URL provided. A short intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): coding (62), critical thinking (119), engineering (130), images (272), multimedia (62), problem solving (286), STEM (164), video (276)

In the Classroom

Create a coding center in your classroom using Vidcode. Encourage students to use the tutorials to create projects to include with any multimedia presentation. Have students make their multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools, reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and theLearnia. Use Vidcode projects as part of any after-school or recess/lunch coding club activity.

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Google CS First - Google

Grades
5 to 9
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in ...more
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in the U.S. Materials offer lessons based on themes such as storytelling, sports, social media, friends, and fashion and design. In addition to lesson materials, Google CS provides online training information for club leaders.

tag(s): animation (66), coding (62), critical thinking (119), digital storytelling (154), gamification (77), musical notation (38), problem solving (286), social media (22), sports (98), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Create a club in your classroom as part of your STEM activities, as a lunch/recess club, or an at-home activity for students. Use the flyers and presentation materials provided to create interest in the club. Differentiate clubs by student interests and abilities. Share Google CS First with your school's media or tech leader as an excellent resource for teaching coding. This site is perfect for those who want to learn more about coding, but have some hesitancy since all materials from creating a group through the lessons are free. If you still have some doubts, enlist the services of a tech-savvy high school student to help with activities as part of their volunteering requirements.

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Pencil Code Gym - David Bau

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can press the gear button to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS. ...more
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Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can press the gear button to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS. Follow instructions to code using drag and drop blocks or text. Click the pencil in the upper left corner to see several resources including Materials for Teachers, Teachers Manual, Printable Activities, and several others. Toggle back and forth between the two formats to view the different formats. The wide range of activities make this site perfect for use with students of all levels of coding abilities. When complete, share finished projects on "GymStage", the sharing portion of Pencil Code Gym.

tag(s): coding (62), critical thinking (119), digital storytelling (154), drawing (83), geometric shapes (171), musical notation (38), problem solving (286)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for use as centers. Use the text options for students to use with digital storytelling. This site is perfect for differentiating different levels of coding skills. Allow students to explore at their own pace, then share their creations with classmates. Challenge students or groups to create videos explaining their creations using theLearnia, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to add a link to your class website for students to practice at home.
 

Comments

Great resource for all ages, more appropriate for middle school and above. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Code Warriors - Kuato Studios

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn JavaScript coding through gameplay and strategy with Code Warriors. Use codes to reach your opponent's power core while protecting your core. Although created for two players,...more
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Learn JavaScript coding through gameplay and strategy with Code Warriors. Use codes to reach your opponent's power core while protecting your core. Although created for two players, single player challenges provide the opportunity to practice skills while preparing for new matches. Choose the Teacher Zone to monitor student progress either as individual players, groups, or as a whole class.

tag(s): coding (62), computers (99), creativity (121), critical thinking (119), DAT device agnostic tool (173), logic (236), problem solving (286), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Learning to code is an opportunity to teach students to think and problem solve. Coding is a critical digital literacy skill for the future. After school clubs and activities can use Code Warriors to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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MathScienceMusic - Theolonius Monk Institute of Jaz

Grades
K to 12
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration...more
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MathScienceMusic provides a large variety of free, engaging, resources to teach math, science, and music to students from kindergarten through college all created through a collaboration with Jazz legend, Herbie Hancock. Click letters on the homepage to begin your musical experience, then scroll down to view the available resources. Each group of resources includes a video introduction explaining the content. Some of the choices include Scratch Jazz (music and coding) and Groove Pizza (Shapes and Angles and Groove). All activities include a short description along with suggestions for appropriate grade level, concepts taught, and links to additional resources. Videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): angles (88), animation (66), brain (72), coding (62), fractions (228), geometric shapes (171), india (36), multiples (35), music theory (44), musical instruments (48), musical notation (38), numbers (195), patterns (87), preK (292), ratios (58), sound (103)

In the Classroom

Share activities from MathScienceMusic on your interactive whiteboard with students, then let them explore independently. Scratch Jazz is perfect for teaching basic coding; students interested in music will enjoy creating their own jazz-themed project using the site's tutorial. Add interest to math lessons by taking advantage of the free lesson plans. Be sure to check out the link to Math and Music Standards found on the music and math curriculum page. Have students create videos of their music creations using theLearnia, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to have them discuss their journey from the beginning through the final creation of their project. Team up with your school's music teacher to collaborate on the many activities provided on this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mixital Strictly: Robo-Dancers - Code Club & Nesta

Grades
4 to 12
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Make and publish a robot performing your personalized dance moves with Robo-Dancers. Create your moves using toolbars provided or switch to Code Mode to view and change moves using...more
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Make and publish a robot performing your personalized dance moves with Robo-Dancers. Create your moves using toolbars provided or switch to Code Mode to view and change moves using code. Share and save when finished. Be sure to check out other options available on this site for creating animated stories and adding visuals to classic music. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. The dance steps for the dance, Do The Strictly are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube. At the time of this review, the site activities did not work with all browsers. So be sure to test out this site on the browser that you will be using.

tag(s): coding (62), computers (99), engineering (130), gamification (77), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Use Robo-Dancers as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class. Display your dancer on your interactive whiteboard or projector and switch between modes to view changes in code when changing dance moves. After school clubs and activities can use Robo-Dancers to learn coding. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Robo Boogie - Code Club & Nesta

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a dancing robot and learn code at the same time! Begin by choosing a robot dancer, and then click "Let's Dance!" Edit your robot's dance moves using the toolbars ...more
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Create a dancing robot and learn code at the same time! Begin by choosing a robot dancer, and then click "Let's Dance!" Edit your robot's dance moves using the toolbars to change the head, arm, and hip movements. If you don't like the music, no problem, choose from four different music genres for your robot. Switch to Code Mode to view and change current settings. When finished, save and share your dance.

tag(s): coding (62), computers (99), engineering (130), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Show students how to switch back and forth between Code Mode and toolbars. Ask one student to change a dance move and other students to adjust the code to match the change. After school clubs and activities can use Robo Boogie to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for an interesting challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Sketch Nation Create - Nitzan Wilnai

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the ...more
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the app of choice and then click settings and register. Once registered (no email required) select Create, the Genre, and your choice of Simple, Advanced, or Expert Modes. Choose to draw or import pictures to use for the background, characters, objects, and scenery. Make simple games while learning a little about programming and game design. Click the Getting Started tab to register. Look at the many examples and ideas under Education.

tag(s): coding (62), Computational Thinking (14), computers (99), critical thinking (119), DAT device agnostic tool (173), design (93), game based learning (120), gamification (77), logic (236), problem solving (286), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

If you only have a few computers, introduce this tool using a projector or interactive whiteboard and bookmark it as a learning station with earbuds/headphones. Allow students to explore and learn on their own at classroom computer centers or individual laptops. Sketch Nation is an engaging interactive to learn basic coding skills even for younger students. Encourage learning by telling them to ask three other students first before asking the teacher AND that it is okay if we learn it together. Once students get the hang of beginning programming tips, encourage them to make apps, games, or digital stories for other courses such as videos explaining photosynthesis, book readings from authors, famous battles from history, or different genres of music and art. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation, and to keep tabs on students and their progress. For creating digital storyboards see Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Storyboard Generator, reviewed here. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Sketch Nation Create teaches the basics. Those students who show a keen interest in coding could learn more by using a program such as Anybody Can Learn to Code, reviewed here, Kodable, reviewed here, or Codeacademy, reviewed here.

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Code Avengers - Mike Walmsley

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Code Avengers offers free introductory courses for learning computer coding. Teachers receive access to all lessons; students have access to introductory lessons in HTML/CSS, JavaScript,...more
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Code Avengers offers free introductory courses for learning computer coding. Teachers receive access to all lessons; students have access to introductory lessons in HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and Python 3. Introductory courses run about one hour in length and include video instructions along with opportunities for practice of tasks. Participate in lessons without registration. Registration does allow you to save work and return to the stopping point at any time. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (62), computers (99), engineering (130), gamification (77), STEM (164)

In the Classroom

Although only the introductory lessons are free, they provide excellent tutorials for beginners. Create a link on classroom computers for students to learn at their own pace and develop an interest in pursuing further coding instruction. If you are looking for more ways to use coding in the classroom, check out TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom page. Make coding part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Include it as part of the scientific method or discussions about careers in science. You may even want to portray coding as just another "world language" in today's world.

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CodeHS - Jeremy Keeshin & Zach Galant

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
    
CodeHS is designed to help high school students learn the basics of computer programming. However, the tool would also be good to use in middle school. Start by signing up ...more
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CodeHS is designed to help high school students learn the basics of computer programming. However, the tool would also be good to use in middle school. Start by signing up for an account, create a class, and get started. Students sign up for the class with a class code or through an email invite from the teacher. The course is self-paced and takes students through with step by step tutorials, examples, and help along the way. Students begin each section of the course with an instructional video on Vimeo, YouTube, or the CodeHS website. Questions that check for understanding and an example of coding are follow-ups to the video. Then students put the skills to use through a series of practice activities by moving Karel, the dog, through combinations of four commands. You can check student progress through the dashboard. Also, explore the many resources offered to help you learn how to use and teach coding. Go through your own personal, professional development with the site as well.
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tag(s): classroom management (155), coding (62), computers (99)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. The course is self-paced, so differentiation is easy. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki.

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