Beyond the Hour of Code: Free coding websites to help your child learn to code
When your child has finished the Hour of Code and wants to learn more, check out these free coding websites that can help take your kid’s computer programming learning to the next level.
Code.org follows through on its initiative of making programming fun and easy for kids to learn with the Code Studio coding courses. Students can use characters from the Disney megahit “Frozen” to draw lines and snowflakes or try their hand at writing their own Flappy Bird game. Code Studio also offers free 20-hour courses focusing on computer fundamentals. Lesson plans and instructional guides are available for download to help facilitate teaching. Signing up for an account allows students to save and track their progress.
Scratch is a visual programming language and online learning community where students can create games, stories and animations with others around the world. Students who have been exposed to Code.org will find it easy to transition to Scratch because it utilizes a similar coding-by-blocks graphical interface. Beginners get the help they need from a step-by-step guide built into the program, video tutorials, and a downloadable Getting Started guide. No Internet connection? No problem. Students can download and install an offline Scratch editor on a Windows, Mac or some versions of Linux, so they can work on projects even while they’re off the ‘net.
Designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming, Alice is a software lets users create stories, games, and animations using a 3D programming environment. Using a drag-and-drop interface, users can choose an object from Alice’s gallery and drop it into the virtual world. Users can add properties, methods and functions to an object by dragging and dropping graphical tiles that correspond to specific programming statements. The ability to control objects in a 3D environment works as a huge motivator for children to learn. Alice can be installed on Windows, Mac and some versions of Linux.
The free coding websites featured on this post are just a few of the many free coding sites available. I have focused only on these free coding websites based on users’ experiences posted on homeschooling blogs and forums.