Hour of Code – Coding Resources for Students of All Ages


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Hour of Code – Coding Resources for Students of All Ages

December 5-11 is Computer Science Education Week.  Introduce your students to computer science by getting them to participate in an Hour of Code. I’ve rounded up the best resources for lesson plans, activities, iOS and Android apps, robots, drones, and other affordable gadgets to make coding fun.

“In one hour, students (and teachers) can learn that computer science is fun, easy, and accessible at all ages.” – HourOfCode.com

 

Code.org

Hour of Code - Star Wars

Program droids and create your own Star Wars game.

Code.org is THE resource for any educator interested in teaching their students about coding. From courses and curriculum to professional development and supporting diversity in computing, this site has everything you’ll need to get started.

Find lesson plans sorted by grade level and subject area, along with teacher-guided tutorials to get students coding and having fun in no time.

Access lessons and more, along with teacher’s notes at code.org/learn. Check out the complete How to Teach One Hour of Code guide, or download the Hour of Code Participation Guide.

Hour of Code - Frozen

Frozen fans will love using code to move Anna and Elsa along the ice. Students can also code their way through a Minecraft world, guide Moana through the sea, or create their own Flappy Bird game.

The Foos

Coding for Elementary Students (K-3)

The Foos - Hour of CodeAs a parent, I’m mindful that not all screen time is equal.  My daughter loves the iPad’s entertainment value, while I view it as a powerful tool for learning.  The Foos makes us both very happy.  I see her problem-solving, sequencing, and creating loops; she thinks she’s just playing a game.  The makers of The Foos describes their game as “the most fun and kid-friendly way to learn about computer programming,” and I’d have to agree.  It’s designed for ages 5-10, and available for iOS, Android, and for the Kindle Fire. You can also play it with a web browser or by downloading it from the Mac App Store.  Their Hour of Code Page provides students with the opportunity to earn and Hour of Code certificate, in addition to providing curriculum and a solutions guide for teachers.

Lightbot

A Great Coding Option for Grades K-3, and Grades 4+

Lightbot - Hour of CodeLightbot is one of the first apps that my daughter started coding with. Students use drag and drop coding to maneuver the Lightbot through multiple game levels.  Beginning levels provide direct guidance, with each level getting progressively more difficult.  Lightbot is currently priced at $2.99, but they have created free Hour of Code versions for iOS, Android, and Online (Flash, in-browser).  The paid version is available in two different versions.  Junior Coding Puzzles for ages 4-8 are available on iOS, Android, and Kindle.  Programming Puzzles for ages 9+ are available on iOS, Android, Kindle, Windows, and Mac.  Lesson plans, printable command icons, and Hour of Code resources are available on the Teacher Resources.

Scratch

Introduce Middle and High School Students to CodingCoding with Scratch - Hour of Code

I’ve been using Scratch with my high school students for years.  It’s a browser-based, drag and drop programming platform for creating games, interactive art, stories, and simulations.  My Environmental Science students have used it to create food web games, and natural selection simulations.  Get started with one of their tutorials, or explore their online community for Educators ScratchEd.

Tickle

Make Coding Even More FunTickle App - Hour of Code

I can’t think of a way to make coding more exciting than to use it to control robots and drones.  Tickle is an iOS app that allows students to use drag and drop coding to control a number of different robots and drones.  Sphero and the Rolling Spider are two of my favorites.  No robots? No Problem.  Tickle can also be used to program iPhone games.  Check out the Swimming Orca game on their Hour of Code Page.

Sphero

I featured Sphero as one of my 5 Awesome Tech Gadgets for Teachers and Students last year.  The rolling robot is so much fun to program that students will forget they are learning.  Challenge students by creating a maze or obstacle course to program the robot though.  They also have a BB-8 model for all the Star Wars fans out there.


Parrot Minidrones Rolling Spider

The only thing cooler than programming a robot is programming a robot that can fly.  Check out the video below that shows the fun I had programming the Parrot Minidrones Rolling Spider at the 2015 Apple Distinguished Educators Institute.  It was so much fun that we didn’t want to put it down.

Ozobot

OzobotOzobots are tiny robots that anyone can code. Students use markers to write code on a sheet of paper.
The Ozobot follows colored lines and is receives commands by recognizing changes in color and color combinations on the page. It can also be programmed with drag and drop coding using the app. You don’t have to break the bank to program robots, you can get started with Ozobot for right around $50.

Bloxels

Let students make video games by arranging colored blocks on a grid. Students arrange the blocks to create characters and game layouts, then take a picture with the Bloxels app to make their games comet to life. It’s easy, engaging, and affordable.

Bloxels - Code with Blocks

Everyone Can Code with Apple

Apple is offering free, one-hour introduction to computer programming workshops in their stores for students age 6 and up.  Find the schedule for your local apple store and register here.

Apple’s Everyone Can Code page is a great resource for teaching and learning code using Swift Playgrounds. Swift Playgrounds is an iPad app that teaches students coding basics with interactive puzzles. Advanced users can code their own programs. You’ll also want to check out their Hour of Code Facilitator Guide, iTunes U Course, and iBook. You can view all Everyone Can Code Resources in iTunes here. I’ve also compiled their featured apps below.

Apple Hour of Code Workshops

iOS Apps for Young Coders

ScratchJr
ScratchJr
Price: Free
PBS KIDS ScratchJr
PBS KIDS ScratchJr
Developer: PBS KIDS
Price: Free
Lightbot : Programming Puzzles
Lightbot : Programming Puzzles
Lightbot : Code Hour
Lightbot : Code Hour
Developer: LightBot Inc.
Price: Free
Kodable - Coding for Kids
Kodable - Coding for Kids
Developer: SurfScore, Inc
Price: Free+
Coda Game - Make your Own Games
Coda Game - Make your Own Games
Osmo Coding
Osmo Coding
Developer: Tangible Play
Price: Free

Android Apps for Your Coders

ScratchJr
ScratchJr
Price: Free
Tynker - Learn to code
Tynker - Learn to code
Developer: Tynker
Price: Free+
codeSpark Academy & The Foos
codeSpark Academy & The Foos
Developer: codeSpark
Price: Free+
PBS KIDS ScratchJr
PBS KIDS ScratchJr
Developer: PBS KIDS
Price: Free
Lightbot : Programming Puzzles
Lightbot : Programming Puzzles
Developer: Lightbot
Price: $2.99
Lightbot Jr : Coding Puzzles
Lightbot Jr : Coding Puzzles
Developer: Lightbot
Price: $2.59
Lightbot : Code Hour
Lightbot : Code Hour
Developer: Lightbot
Price: Free
The app was not found in the store. 🙁
Coda Game - Make Your Own Game
Coda Game - Make Your Own Game
The app was not found in the store. 🙁

What are your plans for Hour of Code?
Share them in the comments below.

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