5 Apps for Teaching Children Coding Skills

A code is simply a system of rules or instructions to convert information – such as a letter, word, sound, image, or gesture – into another form. This can include language, many forms of communication and, of course, computer code.

Coding is not a secret language, only accessible to a few and a mystery to the many; but now part of our everyday lives, a large aspect of the curriculum and an integral part of the economy – opening up jobs and opportunities to many people.

Code isn’t and shouldn’t be scary or inaccessible to teacher, pupil or parent. With so many fun, simple to use apps and resources available for use at home and school, a teacher/instructor can support and be supported no matter what their previous experience.

Here at the Educational App Store, we are continually impressed by the range and quality of coding apps, appealing to a wide age and ability range. From youngsters just starting out to very advanced coders, there is something for everyone – if you know where to find them! Here are our top tips for cracking coding in your classroom:

  1. Starting at the very beginning, we need to get young children carrying out and creating simple instructions in a given order. This is what code is in its simplest form. If the instruction is not followed through correctly, the code will not work. That’s why coders, with their very complex lines of code, are often left scratching their heads! Daisy The Dinosaur is a great free app to teach basic coding through drag and drop commands. It builds from┬ámove, spin, jump and roll to more advanced coding features and repeat commands.
  2. Once children have grasped the basics, they can use code to create more useful and meaningly creations. Freggers Play is an app suitable for a wide range of ages that combines coding with 3D story-telling and creativity. Children can create stories with animated animals and characters or invent their own games through following the logic of code.
  3. Creating a website should be a ‘game’ using the CodeQuest app. Following two fun characters that kids will love, they can create, build, and explore basic HTML and CSS (website languages) while having fun on a magical coding quest.
  4. One of our all time coding favourites is Hopscotch, which provides scaffolding learning for coding and is suitable for 9+ The in-app platform and instructions is an excellent resource for students to explore other coding programs that have been uploaded to the Hopscotch community learning hub and creates a platform to share their work too.
  5. Last but not least is an app which we are proud to be associated with and is well deserving our its iconic status. The coding and computing videos of Khan Academy offer a self-paced way for children – and adults – to learn coding concepts. From the basics of coding and animation, to more complex computer science subjects, these are amazing resources to discover.

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