Don’t know anything about coding yourself? That’s OK! You can learn alongside your students. Several of these sites offer all the materials teachers need to conduct lessons, even without any background knowledge. Every student can benefit from learning how to code, so here’s where to start when you’re ready to take the plunge.
This is easily one of the most popular coding websites for kids ages 8 and up. It teaches the Scratch language, which has a simple visual interface kids will pick up in a flash. Using Scratch, they can create games, animations, and more, then share them with others around the world. Video tutorials walk you through what you need to know so kids will be creating cool stuff in no time.
As with any language, the earlier students start, the better. Scratch Jr. is Scratch’s younger cousin, an app designed for kids ages 5 through 7. Kids can experiment with it on their own, or adults can use tutorials to help them get started. As they play, they’ll write stories or create games, learning Scratch without needing to read. As their skills develop, they’ll be ready to move onto the main Scratch website.
The folks behind Code.org created the Hour of Code program, which is helping to bring coding to kids everywhere. They’re dedicated to empowering women and other underrepresented groups in computer science. Code.org provides free courses, activities, and even local classes. They offer courses for teachers too. Like many other coding websites for kids, they offer content in multiple languages.
Cost: Introductory Kickstarter program is free. Schools can get access to all content for all teachers and students for $1,250/year. Individual subscriptions available on a monthly basis.
Cost: $449 per classroom (3 teachers, 35 students); custom school and district plans available.
CodeMonkey is one of the top coding curriculums available for K-8 students. Teachers get everything they need to teach coding, regardless of their skill level. You’ll find lessons, videos, automatic grading, and a classroom dashboard. Gamified learning makes the experience fun for kids. Different programs are available for various grade levels, starting with block-based coding for pre-readers and building to Python and Chatbot at the middle school level.
Cost: Free trial and activities; school plans start at $25/student (100 student minimum) with discounts for higher enrollment.
Tynker is a computer science curriculum for grades K-12. Their new high school courses include advanced classes like AP Computer Science. Students can learn a wide variety of code languages. Plus, they can complete cross-curricular projects in social studies, English, science, and math. Tynker also offers three mobile apps, including one for Minecraft modding. Try Tynker for free by checking out three courses to start. They also have Hour of Code activities and weekly STEM projects.
CodeCombat is a coding game that’s been around for several years now. Kids follow a story adventure and learn coding along the way. Teachers began using CodeCombat in their classrooms, inspiring the company to create Ozaria, a site specifically designed for teachers to use with their students. Ozaria includes lesson plans and slides to go along with its game-based storyline. Both Ozaria and CodeCombat are best for upper elementary through high school.
Khan Academy is one of the top free learning sites, and they’ve got plenty of lessons in coding. You won’t find adventure games or flashy animations. But you will get a good grounding in how coding works, with talk-throughs and practices along the way. Upper elementary through high school students can use Khan Academy on their own for self-paced learning.
Cost: Free basic plan, with Pro plans available at the classroom, school, and district level (pricing varies).
Middle and high schools looking for a computer science curriculum may want to check out this site. In addition to coding courses, you’ll find lessons on cybersecurity, physical computing, web design, and much more. Students can even earn industry certifications, preparing them for future careers. The free basic plan includes broad access for students, while the Pro plans provide additional teacher resources and tracking tools.
Cost: Basic plan is free; Individual Pro pricing starts at $19.99/month, with free school plans available.
Try Codecademy with high school students interested in pursuing computer science as a career. They can take free basic courses in coding, web development, cybersecurity, and data science. Schools can get free access to the entire course catalog through a partnership with Clever.
Cost: 3 payments of $149 per 12 week course.
CodeWizardsHQ offers live online coding classes for students ages 8 to 18. This is an excellent solution for parents looking for enrichment classes for their kids. CodeWizardsHQ also partners with PTAs to provide activities for spirit nights, plus the opportunity for affiliate income.