Coding helps students develop systematic reasoning, problem-solving, and communication skills
Young learners and beginners can begin coding in the classroom using web based programmes – such as Scratch .
Students who have mastered coding can construct, hypothesise, explore, experiment, evaluate, and draw conclusions.
Coding is an important and necessary future-focused literacy. It is included as part of the school curricula in many countries who recognise this.
Coding helps to create our digital world and as our world becomes more digital, coding is becoming more of an in-demand and employable skill.
In his 2012 Ted Talk Lets teach kids to code Mitch Resnick outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies – but also create them.
Callum and his teacher, Fraser Malins, explain how Scratch supports student learning with creativity, logical thinking, and problem solving at Halswell School.
Balanskat, A. & Englehart, K., (2015). Computing our future. Computer programming and coding. Priorities, school curricula and intitiatives across Europe . European Schoolnet.
Start small and allow students to drive the learning
Talk to your learners, and ask around your community for people with an interest or knowledge in coding for information and support.
Talk to colleagues within your school, or as a part of a wider network such as the Teaching with Scratch or Learning With & About Digital Technologies (NZ Teachers) Facebook groups.
To get started, explore resources and self-directed tutorials for both teachers and students.
You can start students coding without the need for digital devices!
CS Unplugged , a project by the CS Education Research Group at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, offers a free collection of fun, free learning activities that encourage computational thinking.
Allow students to explore problems and design different solutions. Coding By Design begins with solving real problems for real people.
“Classrooms that celebrate the process of design and making, which includes overcoming challenges, produce students who start to believe they can solve any problem. Students learn to trust themselves as competent problem solvers who don’t need to be told what to do next. This stance can be a crucial change for children who are used to getting explicit directions every minute of every day.”
– Martinez & Stager (2014)
Year 13 student, Daniel Cowpertwait describes his Portal Unity Project – a modification coded for the online game, Portal. He developed this along with three other students as part of the Impact Project at Albany Senior High School. The authentic context provided many opportunities for learning including specialised technical skill development, a deep understanding of copyright, and working successfully as part of a team. He has been supported in his learning by an expert via the Internet and a mentor. Daniel describes how the cross curricular nature of the project has opened his eyes to the way different disciplines can be combined into a career.
Engage students' curiosity and provide opportunities to explore, play and ‘tinker’ with code, so they are not just learning to code but coding to learn.
Games are one of the best ways to foster a love for coding in kids. There are a vast array of online resources that incorporate learning how to code into gaming. These involve challenges and rewards that scaffold learning and teach fundamental skills.
Women are under-represented in roles that involve creating technology.
You can start with just one hour of coding!
The Hour of Code website offers a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. A global, week long Hour of Code event takes place once a year. But, teachers can host an Hour of Code event all year round.
Tutorials for the Hour of Code are available from Computer Science Education Week's Learn page – Quick tips for educators section .
Heggart, K., (2014). Coded for Success: The Benefits of Learning to Program. Edutopia
Martinez, S & Stager, G., (2014). The maker movement: A learning revolution . ISTE
Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko, the National Digital Readiness Programme
Kia Takatū ā-Matihiko, the National Digital Readiness Programme, was developed to ensure teachers and kaiako are empowered to implement the revised Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content in the Technology Learning Areas and Hangarau Wahanga Ako. It includes tutorials in the Pīkau / Toolkits about how to teach programming.
Scratching our heads for ideas with Scratch!
A discussion thread with useful resources, comments, and links to recent webinars in the Virtual Learning Network – an online community for NZ teachers.
Teaching kids programming
Ministry of Education
One Month: intro to coding
A 90 day program to help you learn the basics of coding.
A non-profit organisation dedicated to expanding access to computer science.
Course specific that teach web developer skills, languages, and more.
Programming for Kids - How to Make Coding Fun
A free course for parents, teachers in schools who want to encourage programming skills in a fun way.
KhanAcademy – Teaching computer programming
Free resource for learning how to teach programming, includes lesson plans and teaching materials.
Self-directed activities and tutorials for students to follow as they learn to code.
A New Zealand based platform that uses a game development to make coding fun and reflects real life as students publish the games they create.
Students build their own apps, games and websites as they learn.
Course specific that teach web developer skills, languages, and more.
Coding in Minecraft
Use blocks of code to take Steve or Alex on an adventure through this Minecraft world.
Khan Academy Programming Tutorials
Practice exercises, instructional videos on a range of topics for free.
Shake up learning
Lessons, games, and interactives designed to teach coding skills.
Scratch Number Line iPad Monthly
A YouTube clip in which Paul Hamilton explores numbers using scratch Jr App for iPad and coding.
A creative computing platform for kids.
Resources and links for getting started with Scratch in the classroom are in this easy to read ISTE blog post (April, 2019)
Learn code on your iPad.
Stencyl is a code-free game development tool helps kids program and publish. It is a cross platform 2D game engine with tools that run on Windows, Mac and Linux. It is free to use for publishing to Flash with a watermark. There is a cost for the pro version, which allows publishing to additional platforms.
A board game that teaches the fundamentals of programming (3+).
An iPad app with drag and drop blocks of code to create a program.
Code Monkey Island
An adventure board game that teaches kids how to use and master the fundamentals of computer science.
Robot duo Dash and Dot guide kids through the world of coding and robotics.
Curriculum related resources and activities that transition students from the use of symbols to written code.
Daisy the dinosaur
A free, fun app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen.
Teachers young students important new skills as they program their own interactive stories and games.
Designed to teach computer science to elementary students aged 4-11.
Nancy Drew: Codes & Clues
Program a robot puppy to solve the mystery of a missing project at the Tech Fair.
Move the Turtle
Teaches children (ages 5+) the basics of programming.
Make games and publish them instantly for anyone to play.
A puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates.
Lightbot: Programming Puzzles
A puzzle game that uses game mechanics that are firmly rooted in programming concepts.
An Android app, students can create their own games, apps, and music videos.
Cracking the code – schools get kids programming
New Zealand Herald education reporter, Nicholas Jones outlines how coding as the "new literacy" is fast becoming the key to good jobs.
A beginner’s guide to bringing coding into the classroom
Edsurge: An article outlining how to get started with coding in the classroom with a helpful table of coding resources.
Coding in the classroom
Edutopia: Links to useful resources, strategies, activities, games and apps to teach kids programming skills and computer science concepts.
Coded for success: The benefits of learning to program
Edutopia: This article outlines why teachers should incorporate coding into the learning program.
Teaching kids to code
Edsurge: A guide to coding in the classroom from a range of perspectives.
Coding by design: A design-first approach
Edutopia: A design thinking approach to creating an app, then proceed to a prototype, multiple iterations based on real feedback, and finally a top-down approach to solving the coding problems and puzzles inherent in app development.
Links to articles and resources to support teaching and learning with coding.
10 reasons to teach coding
A sketch note outlining different reasons to teach coding.