What is Coding?

Coding refers to computer programming. It is the primary language between humans and robots and consists of a set of instructions that will tell a computer or robot what to do. There are several different programming languages (e.g. HTML, C++, Java, Python) and the choice of a language depends on your intention. Also, a new, user-friendly form of visual/block programming (e.g. Scratch Junior, Scratch, Blockly) allows students to assemble ready-made blocks of code using the drag-and-drop method. This type of coding is great for younger students or as an initiation to coding.

Coding Programs and Software

Scratch Junior

Scratch Junior

With ScratchJr, young children can program their own interactive stories and games. In the process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer. This program works with tablets and chromebooks. It is provided free of charge.

Scratch 2.0

Scratch 2.0

Scratch was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT. It is a popular program that you can install on your computer or use online and it has a robust community of “Scratchers” who share their projects and ideas. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. It is provided free of charge.

Scratch 3.0

Scratch 3.0

This is the latest version of Scratch and it has been improved substantially. Now, you can play with Scratch on a tablet or Chromebook! What we are most excited by is all the different technologies you can connect Scratch to – like Micro:Bits, EV3, WeDo 2.0, Google Translate, Makey Makey, and more!

You can create with Scratch or explore projects that were created by other users on any range of topics, from tutorials to games, or whatever is currently popular. It is provided free of charge.

For our tinkerers, we encourage you to try remixing other people’s projects! Copy someone else’s project and change it to make it your own (with credit, of course).

Additional Scratch Resources

MakeCode

Makecode and Microbit

Makecode is a block programming website designed to work with the Micro:bit. This platform makes it easy to connect your device, to write interesting code using the Micro:bit’s sensors, and to share your work with your colleagues. It features a visualizer that shows you what your code will do after it has been uploaded to your Micro:Bit and it has tutorials to help you get started.

Snap

Snap Program

Snap! is a free, blocks- and browser-based educational graphical programming language that allows students to create interactive animations, games, stories, and more, while learning about mathematical and computational ideas.

TurtleArt

Turtle Art Example

TurtleArt is an innovative program designed to facilitate artistic expression and design through code! It works on tablets and computers and is a great starting point for students who want to make art by programming.

Blockly

Blockly

Blockly was built by Google for developers and is a block programming language that is compatible with a variety of devices such as Ozobots, Micro:bits, Dash & Dot, MBot, and many others. It is versatile, open source, and is great for translating block code into real programming languages like Python and JavaScript!

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