Have you ever tried to teach kids computer programming? In my experience, computer programming is essentially another language, a language you use to communicate with computers. Just like any other languages, the earlier you start teaching kids computer language, the easier it is for them to be fluent at it. We introduced several apps teaching kids coding or programming. Hopscotch is one of my favorite. For more information about Hopscotch visit Free App: Learn Programming with Hopscotch.
Today I am introducing another free resource Codecademy. It is a website of free coding lessons.
Codecademy is a site actually teaching kids computer language, writing computer programming codes. With Hopscotch, kids don’t have to actually write codes to build the program. The app breaks a coding project into smaller tasks, and then transforms the tasks into visual blocks like forward arrows, turning signals. Kids build the program by putting the blocks into a sequence which can be translated into programming codes. With Hopscotch, kids are basically learning how the programming codes are built without actually writing the codes.
In Codecademy, kids will actually write programming codes. For example, if you want to know how much is 3+4, you write a code “3+4” to ask the computer. If you want to see “Hello, Computer” on your screen, you write “var myName = “Computer”; print(“Hello, “+ myName);” The nice thing about Codecademy is the structure of the lessons.
It has 7 units: Getting Started; Data Types; Variables; Comparisons; If…Else…; HTML; My first website.
Each Unit has several lessons of couple minutes long. I only went through the first unit by far. It is well built with good progression – each lesson is built upon the previous one, with good examples and easy to follow instructions. By the time kids finish all the units, they will have a good understanding of computer language and programming, and be able to build a simple website of their own.
Who can benefit from Codecademy the most?
Codecademy teaches kids writing codes. If your child has never worked with programming and has no idea how computer language works, it is a good idea to use Hopscotch to learn the fundamental concepts. Another free app also does a good job in teaching basic computer language concept is LEGO Fix the Factory. Once they have the basic knowledge of how programming works, they can start with Codecademy to work with real codes.
Codecademy lessons are free on their website.