The digital age is here and we need to be preparing our kids to speak the language of computing, coding. Most likely, whether we’ve taught it to them or not, they have a decent understanding of it all by just being around computers their entire lives.
Looking forward to their adulthood we must recognize that computers, and coding of computers will play a very important role in their ability to hold and keep a job. With computers being used from everything from point of sale, to scheduling apps, personal files, photo storage, to automotive computerized systems. The reality is that regardless of what profession someone may intend to go into, computers are here to stay and every worker needs to have a working knowledge of their systems.
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I remember as clear as if it were yesterday the day that I first touched a computer. I was in 8th grade and we had just received a shipment of Apple IIe computers in our tiny rural school. They were placed inside the business classroom. For those who don’t know what a business classroom was, that was a classroom that was set up specifically to teach business classes in our schools. At that time they taught typing, keyboard, which was not a computer keyboard but rather a 10 key accounting keyboard, business accounting, secretarial, and short-hand. That year they added computer science.
That little gray machine with a small television screen was such a mystery to all of us. We were given very strict instructions about using it. There was to be no food or drinks brought nearby. We must have clean hands. We could only use the computer during class time, or during study hall if we were assigned to the business center for our study hall.
Today, computers are no longer only found inside business centers. Nearly every home in America has one, or two and computers are no longer a gray box with a television screen as we saw back then. Now they are interactive, and mobile. They are in our purses and pockets and talk back to us when we ask them the weather.
My own son has asprirations of being an architect. No longer are plans drawn out on blue waxy paper. Rather they are coded using CAD programs and printed using large scale printers.
10 Coding Online Courses & Programs for Kids
If you, like me, don’t fully understand coding, you don’t have to worry too much. There are plenty of options for you as a homeschool teacher to expose your child to learning how to code. In fact, there are many options that are entirely free.
- Alice An educational software that teaches programming in a 3D environment, developed by Carnegie Mellon University
- CODE – Computer Science for Kids
- Code Academy – Interactive coding
- Code Combat – A platform for students to learn computer science while playing through a real game.
- PluralSight Learn to code, create apps, how to write and manage HTML, build games and more.
- Scratch – A free, creative learning community hosted by MIT, for kids to create stories, games, and animations and they can share with others around the globe.
- Itch – a Scratch integrated teacher dashboard allowing students to work in a safe environment. It incorporates video lessons with courses so teachers can integrate coding into lesson plans. FREE for students.
- TechRocket– Learn to program with courses on Java, C++, Python & iOS, create apps.
- Tynker – Learn to build apps, program a robot, or control a drone.
- Youth Digital – Kids learn Java programming by modifying Minecraft worlds and building their own Mods.
There are a lot more, I may even expand this list at a later time. Want to help me to do that? Share your top coding options with me here by leaving a comment and a link so I can check it out.
This post is part of iHomeschool Network Top Ten Tuesday
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