Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to get started in coding by Linda Liukas

I was just playing with Hopscotch this morning, and got this email from a woman who teaches coding.-- Maggie 


Project Update #3: Can't wait for the book? This is how you get started in coding

Posted by Linda Liukas ♥ Like

Making a book is a long process. Luckily the Internet is full of great and mostly free resources to teach your kid (and yourself) programming skills while we wait for little Ruby.  

In the list below I've included products I've tried myself. There are books, interactive tutorials, robots, games, apps, and course - so so many great things to try out.   

Finding the right product or motivation for your kid is the key. Some kids love making games. Others enjoy writing stories. One little boy I taught got very excited about "hacking" existing websites with Chrome Inspect Element tool. Another girl wanted to learn Java to make Minecraft mods. 

You don't need to be a professional developer to get kids started in programming. Many of the products include lightweight curriculums and roadmaps to help the kid learn more. One of the most important qualities of a programmer is the ability to figure out problems. Googling is allowed!

This is not a conclusive list - I'd love to hear more recommendations from you in the comments.

For the smallest ones (5-8)
For the elementary schoolers (7-12)
For the teenagers and beyond (13 -> )
  • Codecademy. Interactive exercises in the browser for Python, Ruby, JavaScript, HTML (full disclosure, I used to work here!).
  • Codeschool. Dive deeper into different programming languages. 
  • Dash. Learn to make websites with an interactive tutorial. 
  • Coursera. I liked the Startup Engineering course. 
Ruby for children (just because of Ruby)

Books and stories

Curriculum and community

  • has a very large resource list to try out.
  • Mozilla Webmaker includes tons of tools and guides for building the web.
  • CoderDojo is a global non-profit for starting a coding club for kids. 
  • is a community for kids to learn to make things. 
  • CS Unplugged has activities you can do without a computer to teach programming fundamentals. 
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