Posted: Oct 30 2015
Hands up if you know what this means?
20 PRINT "Anna"
30 GOTO 20
I'm pretty sure that this was the first programme that I learnt when I was a young girl. My Dad had bought a home computer and I was FASCINATED that with a few commands I could manipulate what was displayed on my screen.
Still am actually :)
BTW - if you are interested this simple programme would print my name over and over! Impressive eh?? OK... maybe not....... but when I was 10 I thought it was EPIC!!
I went on to dabble in some more coding - creating pixel characters BUT when I compare what I played around with to what coding apps are available for kids today - I was living in the DARK AGES!!
The UK is in the midst of a serous IT skills shortage, with many programmers coming from overseas to fill what can be incredibly well-paid, and under staffed, programming positions. In a bid to stem this issue and become a world player of coding talent within the years to come the Government is promoting coding within schools, with big brand names also getting in on the action (such as Barclays’ Digital Eagle kids coding courses).
So with this in mind I'm going to tell you all about five awesome apps and websites that make the learning of code a truly fun, interesting and immersive experience for kids of all ages.
Lightbot is a leading programming platform where kids learn to code without even realising it. Here your little one will direct a Bot around a world of various puzzles, picking up key code terms and concepts along the way. What’s even better is that Lightbot is available on Android or Apple devices, as well as via Kindle for 4 - 8 year olds, with the 9+ puzzles featuring on Android, Apple, Windows, Mac and Kindle devices.
Age group: 4 -8 and 9 and upwards
Codecombat is seriously beautiful and places will be coders within cartoon style gameplay that is set during medieval times.
Of all of the resources listed here this may be the best for teachers, and it provides for a truly immersive environment in which child coders can go head to head on the brutal, but seriously fun, battlefield.
Hopscotch is the perfect app to help kids in the very beginning of their coding journey. It’s colourful, fun and easily operable through a series of simplistic screens.
There are 20+ super easy-to-follow video tutorials that teach you how to make games like Flappy Bird, create pixel art, and more. Parents and teachers can use the free, 7-week project-based curriculum to lead fun (and legit) computer science programs.
Tynker builds upon the complexity of Hopscotch, taking the visuals further and immersing kids within an environment where they have to solve numerous puzzles in order to find their way back to their virtual ‘home’.
Tynker's online courses provide a complete learning system with interactive exercises, guided tutorials, fun creativity tools and puzzles. All geared to making programming fun.
Tynker is available online and via Apple and Android Devices.
Lessons are split into easily digestible chunks and the screen makes following along easy, with a helpful left hand panel that provides clear cut instructions.
Age group: The courses are designed for ages 12+, but are successfully used by many 8–11 year olds... (there isn't any fun gameplay element - so not so engaging for younger children).