My 10 year old son came home from school excited to show me a game he was playing. Online. At school.
It wasn’t just any game, it was one that teaches kids how to code. And he’s addicted to the idea of coding and perhaps learning how to make his own video games.
Kids are learning to code at schools which, I’m hoping he doesn’t get homework for it because, like math, I’m clueless when it comes to coding. Computer Science, which is part of the whole coding thing, is one of the highest paid college degrees. The programming jobs are growing by the second. So, it’s a really good idea to introduce this to kids at an early age.
I’m sort of loving the fact that he can play video games where he’s actually learning something other than Zombie Apocalypse survival skills. Which, I don’t doubt he’ll need eventually because hey…it could happen. And then he’ll be able to kill a bazillion zombies with a single arrow. Because he learned how on The Walking Dead video game. Or Call of Duty Zombie Pack. Or whatever.
His school is using a program called LightBot and he thinks it’s pretty freaking amazing. I decided I wanted to encourage his interest so I consulted Professor Google to find out more code-teaching apps and websites. And guess what, I created a list. Which…I decided to share here. Because I’m a giver and that’s what givers do..they share their lists of stuff. And just in time for the Hour of Coding month!
Here are some for your devices:
This app is pretty much for everyone. You can learn to make characters dance and wiggle. It’s a fun and educational time suck.
L2Code CSS—Learn to Code https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/l2code-css/id648523226
$4.99 iOS Learn how to create and formate webpages. I need this!
Free! It’s the first game programmed of its kind that is entirely on iPad® using Codea™. It’s a puzzle game where the robot moves boxes only, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Light-Bot: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/light-bot/id657638474?mt=8 $.99
Lightbot is a programming puzzle game that my son’s school uses. It’s a game that requires using the use of logic in programming to solve. And three of my kids were playing it together..it was so cute!
Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fetch/id599976903?mt=8 FREE iOS
“Become the ultimate code warrior and hack your friends with Hakitzu Elite. An epic multiplayer robot combat game, where you learn the basics of coding while battling robots in both single and multiplayer missions. Victory is in the code!”
Cato’s Hike: A Programming and Logic Odyssey https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/catos-hike-programming-logic/id574335479?mt=8
$4.99 This description is taken right from the app store: “For learners who are more visual. Essentially, ‘Cato’s Hike’ is a universal game for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to teach kids and young children basic programming skills. The younger ones will obviously enjoy solving levels using simpler coding techniques but the hope is the older ones will pick up more advanced concepts like loops and branching as well as even more advanced concepts like a basic stack or memory!”
LOGO was created in 1967 for educational use and is some sort of teaching language, not programming language.
For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tynker.TynkerPremium $4.99
This one has won a TON of awards. “Learn to program with puzzles and easily build your own games. No internet connectivity required. Start by solving coding puzzles. Great for Hour-of-Code and more. Easily build games using the Tynker Workshop, with themed graphics,10 game-kits and customizable characters to inspire imaginative games and stories. Additional puzzle levels are available as in-app purchases.”
*** Parents’ Choice Gold Award
*** Featured by Apple in Education, Kids & Best New Apps
*** Editor’s Choice, Children’s Technology Review
*** Rated 5 stars for Engagement, Common sense media
*** Rated “Best for 8-14” by USA Today
*** Award of Excellence from Strictly Mobile
And then, I found a bunch of WEBSITES that teach kids coding. Some of them support the apps I’ve already mentioned, while the others are strictly web-based.
Mozilla Thimble is an online application that lets kids remix webpage projects and complete their own.
Gamestar Mechanic Learn to design video games!
GameSalad for Android, iOS and HTML5
GreenFoot Learn Java
Stagecast Create interactive games
When it comes to coding, even elementary school aged kids are more advanced than I am. I’m thinking that since this is the wave of the now and future, I may need to start studying coding. And these are perfect for even an adult who is completely clueless when it comes to any other language besides English.