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Three Free Sites to Help Your Kids Learn to Code

Jan 28, 2016
Melissa Hincha-Ownby

Three Free Sites to Help Your Kids Learn to Code 

The ability to understand, read and even write computer code is an important skill for today’s youth. Coding is different than it was when I was in elementary school and wowed my classmates by using basic commands to scroll my name across the screen. Today, coding is so much more than just a fun way to fill time in computer class; it could set your child up for a fulfilling career - the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 15 percent job growth rate for computer scientists over the next decade.

If the thought of teaching your kids to code scares you, don’t fret. There are many websites that help children of all ages learn how to code while having fun at the same time. As an added bonus, these sites are free.

1. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a wonderful resource for a variety of academic topics, but it is also a great resource for those that want to learn how to code. The site offers tutorials in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and SQL.

2. Codecademy
Codecademy was the first site my kids used. It provided the perfect, interactive introduction to coding. Codecademy builds upon Khan Academy’s offerings and includes jQuery, PHP, Python, Ruby and a variety of APIs.

3. Scratch
My son was introduced to MIT’s Scratch programming language in sixth grade. Although Scratch is a proprietary programming language, it helps students understand the concept of coding through the creation of stories, games and animations.

These three sites aren’t the only free online coding sites available. Older teens or advanced children may prefer to browse MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) offerings. Two popular MOOC sites are EdX and Coursera.

Have your children taken a coding class, either online or in person?

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