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Learn to build Android apps | Appinventor. 5 places where any kid can learn how to code. “The kids of today tap, swipe and pinch their way through the world. But unless we give them tools to build with computers, we are raising only consumers instead of creators,” says programmer Linda Liukas. That’s why parents and teachers should introduce coding as a creative act — a playful form of making that requires imagination, bravery and perseverance. Ready to teach your kids how to code? Here are 5 great places to start. 1) Hello Ruby Hello Ruby is a whimsical website (and book!) Created by Liukas to explain programming fundamentals to kids. 2) teaches students the basics of programming through a free series of guided exercises — and is one of several resources on this list to be recommended by the TED Technology Team. 3) Scratch Created and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT’s Media Lab, Scratch is a both a programming language and an evolving community of young coders.

Image credit: Celeste Lai/TED-Ed. For the Hesitant Teacher: Leveraging the Power of Minecraft. If there’s any video game that has successfully made its way into the classroom, it’s Minecraft. There’s a small subset of teachers using all kinds of digital games in interesting ways, but the blockbuster hit Minecraft and its educational counterpart MinecraftEDU have reached much wider audiences. But getting started with MinecraftEDU can be intimidating for teachers who don’t consider themselves “gamers” and aren’t sure how to harness the engagement and excitement of Minecraft.

Luckily, there’s a robust and global Minecraft teacher community to supply tips, support and even lesson plans. Teachers who already use Minecraft in the classroom love it because of the flexibility it offers — almost any subject can be taught with a little creativity. Zimmer and other experienced Minecraft teachers say it’s important to manage expectations when using Minecraft in the classroom. Each vignettes tells a loose story about some aspect of Dark Ages history. Use MinecraftEDU. 11 Apps and Sites for Learning to Code. When the conversation amongst educators turns to programming, Scratch is often the first resource that is mentioned. Scratch allows students to program animations, games, and videos through a visual interface. Students create their programs by dragging together blocks that represent movements and functions on their screens.

The blocks snap together to help students see how the "if, then" logic of programming works. If you haven't seen Scratch before, watch the short overview in the video below. Scratch Overview from ScratchEd on Vimeo. Scratch Jr. is based on the aforementioned online Scratch program. Snap! The MIT App Inventor allows students to create and publish their own Android applications. Google Blockly's interface will remind you of the MIT App Inventor and Scratch. Crunchzilla is a service that students can use to learn to write Javascript programs. Code Maven offers 59 lessons for students to work through at their own pace to learn programming fundamentals.

Unplugging the Hour of Code. Teaching kids to code is arguably as important to today’s youth as numeracy and literacy. In many ways code is numeracy and literacy. More so, it is also a way of looking at problems, breaking them down, thinking about solutions and being creative. From an industry standpoint, there will be more jobs than coders in the next few years and I expect to see a Chief Robotics Officer position any day now. By now many have heard of the Hour of Code movement.

It has become an annual event during Computer Science Education Week in an effort to introduce a new skill set to people of all ages. But what exactly is coding? In the most trivial form, code is a set of instructions, like a written procedure only in machine language. From a numeracy perspective, coding is a form of computational thinking. Let’s explore an example that can be done with regular classroom materials.

As a class, develop a list of “pseudocode” blocks based on the math vocabulary required for your students. Coding FriendBot.