Technology is now a key part of our lives with computers, tablets and smart phones becoming vital to so many aspects of work and home life. Recent changes to the new national curriculum reflect these technological changes by aiming to give children the understanding, knowledge and skills to make the most of this new digital world and workplace.
The curriculum states that children should be able to analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
These 7 free online coding resources are all fun and creative ways for children to have a go at coding.
Scratch is probably the most well known coding resource amongst primary teachers. It provides an easy to use online platform for coding simple interactive stories, games and interactions. Scratch is a good place to start learning the basic principles of programming and is designed for use by 8-16 year olds. It can also be used in conjunction with Lego WeDo, Raspberry Pi and a range of other programmable hardware options for fun creative projects. The ScratchEd online community also has a wide range of resources about learning with Scratch.
This new app offers a good basic introduction to coding and a stepping stone to the full scratch programme for children in KS1 and lower KS2. The ScratchJr app is free to download for Ipads (at the App Store) and Android tablets (at Google Play).
The Techno Babble Game maker is published by the BBC and allows children to make their own games with the updated version now allowing children to add sound effects. The website also has a collection of tutorials to help children to get started.
Code club is a national network of volunteer led coding clubs for primary aged children. The club provides resources and downloadable projects to be used by teachers/ volunteers running coding clubs and uses a number of different languages and platforms including scratch, html and Python.
Code.org is a not for profit organisation dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools. The Learn an Hour of Code section of the website features fun coding activities and apps such as ‘Code with Anna and Elsa’ accompanied by teachers notes and beginners tutorials.
The Code for Life initiative has been developed by Ocado to help teachers deliver the new computing curriculum. The website has a free website app that has been designed by teachers for teachers and covers a number of the requirements for the new computing curriculum including sequencing, repetition, selection and debugging. It also has a downloadable teachers resource pack which shows how to take students in steps from using Blockly (an easy to use visual programming language) to Python (a widely used text based programming language).
Code Playground is an online coding experience created by Barclays for children aged 7-17. It is a good resource for understanding the basics of coding using a basic language of code which allows children to get creative with a variety of fun characters and scenarios by changing variables in the code.
Mozilla’s Xray Goggles tool allows students to see the building blocks that make up websites on the internet. This clever tool not only allows the user to see the code behind a website but also remix different elements by swapping and changing text, images and more offering plenty of fun possibilities for remixing existing websites.
Have you used any of these resources? What do you think? Do you have any others to add?
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