Great article on ‘future-proofing’ education, with a clear need for Authentic Learning – here


computer_science_advocacy – ppt for above video.

My Scoop It site (apparently Australia’s #1 Curation Site for Computational Thinking) is the main place I curate articles and worthwhile links on Computational Thinking.

I am been maintaining this Curated Topic on Scoop It for some time now:


scoop site image

Some of my presentations are also on SlideShare – http://www.slideshare.net/StrategicITbyPFH/ 

Here is a pdf on the introduction to the Year 7-10 portion of the new ACARA Digital Technologies – this was presented by Chris Belcher on-line across Australia on Tuesday 29th July 2014.
Chris also mentions some good resources, including 1 or 2 not listed below or elsewhere on this site.  – file here – digital Technologies Introduction for Years 7-10 by chris belcher 29July2014

Getting Started with Code – some resources

  1. Do a computer science lesson in your classroom this week.

Code.org (http://csedweek.org/learn) has created a site with hour long  activities that teachers can do in their classroom. Some don’t even require  computers!

  1. Find computer science curricula you can use all  year.

Bootstrap (http://www.bootstrapworld.org) Bootstrap has a completely free curriculum that allows teachers of  students ages 12-16 to teach mathematics concepts through coding.

3. CS Unplugged (http://csunplugged.org)

CS Unplugged offers free learning activities that teach computer science and computerscience concepts without the use of computers. Activities are hands on and presented as games and puzzles. They have a free downloadable book as well as lots of other free materials.

4  Code HS (http://www.codehs.com)

Code HS offers a curriculum complete with pacing guides, quizzes,  examples, and videos for your students to work with. All the programming is done through the web browser. Teachers can make an account for free and access  some of the resources available for their own learning as well as create a class and have students join. There are two paid plans available and schools get discounts depending on the number of students and the amount of time committed. The premium membership gets you access to college computer science majors to serve as tutors for your students.

5 Tynker (http://www.tynker.com)

Tynker offers interactive courses for students to learn programing as a package through their school. The free school version has 5 starter lessons that  are not grade specific and offers 2 instructional modules and 30 quizzes. There is a school discount available for the full courses based on how many students sign up.

6 Alice  (http://www.alice.org)

Alice   is a 3D programming environment that allows students to make animations, games etc. Students use the programming interface to click and drag instructions over to the programming area, then troubleshoot or play their creation in a different window. The programming software is free and must be installed on the computer. The program comes with a tutorial and there are textbooks available for purchase. There are also free instructional materials available to teachers who are at recognized educational institutions; teachers can obtain access by contacting Prentice Hall.

7 Code.org  (http://code.org/educate/curriculum)

Code.org, the sponsor of Computer Science Week, has their own curriculum for K-12 Computer Science. The entire curriculum is available under a creative commons license.

Teachers sign up to create their class and they will get a class code for their students to use. When students sign up, teachers can then monitor their students progress. Teachers can even take the course themselves! Lessons include things like intro videos and Angry Bird or Plant Vs. Zombies puzzles for students to solve. The code is shown in Bockly but you can see the actual code after solving the puzzles. Students can also earn real prizes, such as Dropbox space or iTunes giftcards,  when they finish the course!

8 Small Basic (http://smallbasic.com)

Microsoft put together Small Basic  in the hopes of teaching beginners  how to code. Small Basic can be downloaded and installed on your computer for free. It is a variant of the BASIC programming language and unlike  other intro courses, it uses actual coding instead of a Blocky type interface.

Everything is free including a curriculum, e-books and tutorials. It can be used by  teachers as well, but it does not have a built in way for teachers to track student progress.

9 Scratch  (http://scratch.mit.edu)

Scratch is a variant of LOGO from the 1980s. It was developed at MIT as a creative and interactive way to introduce children to coding. Students can make interactive stories, games and animations. Scratch can be used on the web based platform or can be downloaded onto the computer and worked with that way. Scratch comes with step-by-step guides. There is also a curriculum available as well as Scratch Cards which have activities and directions for students to complete.

10 Kodu (http://kodugamelab.com)

Also from  Microsoft, Kodu lets you create games on the PC and XBox. It is available as a free download for the PC and for about $5 on the XBox. Kodu uses a Blocky type interface. There are free lesson plans and activities available for educators and parents. Students can share what they make online with the Kudo community and play with games that others have made.

11 Corona SDK (with Lua) (Coronalabs.com)

Corona SDK, is an advanced development platform for tablets and mobiles and is quickly becoming the platform of choice for developing games, eBooks, business apps and other mobile experiences.

12 Stencyl (Stencyl.com)
Stencyl is a game creation environment that uses visual programming. It allows publishing to: iOS (iPhone/iPad), Android, Flash, Windows, Mac & Linux.

(Credits: Mostly based on an article by  ROCÍO SANTOS-CARRILLO)

Subject Specific Links -see this CSTA document – CompThinking

A US site offering Computational Thinking classes to students – http://www.computationalthinkers.com/computationalthinking/

Some great discussion on CT: https://quantumprogress.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/why-students-must-computational-thinking-and-possibly-how-to-teach-it/

EdSurge Pagehttps://www.edsurge.com/guide/teaching-kids-to-code

See below for a helpful table from this page:

Learn Coding Logic

Compiled by EdSurge

Product Math Prereq Prep Time Price
Players learn coding logic in this iPad app by using a string of commands to organize crates with a robotic arm. As levels get more complex, the user must create functions and optimize his limited number of moves to meet the objectives.
CS Unplugged
Here’s a nifty trick–learning computer science without a computer! This series of logic exercises uses cups, ping pong balls and post-it notes to teach students the logic behind coding. The site also has videos of each exercise being used in a class.
This iPad game teaches the fundamentals of JavaScript by allowing players to program robots to compete in arena fights. Requires no prior knowledge of coding to play.
Kodable is a free educational iPad game offering a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving. For kids ages 5 and up.
Created by Microsoft, this program uses a visual language to create games. While the PC version is free, Xbox 360 users can pick up a copy for $5.
Move the Turtle
Based on the Logo programming language, players learn coding logic by guiding a turtle through obstacles to a destination. Players can also use its composer function to create intricate designs.
Players program a robot’s movements on a grid and get it to light up specific squares before they run out of moves. Teaches concepts of functions and nesting.


Learn to Program Hardware


Compiled by EdSurge


Product Math Prereq Prep Time Price
A popular choice for hands-on learners who want their code to interact with the real world. Can be used for creating a range of projects in the Arduino Code programming language–from light up coffee tables to robots. Extensive documentation of projects online at websites likeInstructables. Instructors take note that LEDs, motors, and sensors cost extra. Fairly involved hardware and programming environment setup time.
Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0
The ubiquitous blocks from Denmark get a technological upgrade. This set allows users to create and program robots through a visual programming language. Big for hands-on learning (with a big price tag to match). Instructors keep in mind that projects require construction and programming time. Support can be found on the Mindstorms forum. Windows and Mac compatible.
Raspberry Pi
This credit card-sized single board computer packs a punch! The Pi can be used for hands-on fun like an Arduino and is powerful enough to run a version of Minecraft. eLinux.org has a wealth of tutorials and projects for the tiny titan of the “Maker” world. Instructors take note that LEDs, motors, and sensors cost extra.

Learn to Code With Visual Blocks

Compiled by EdSurge

Product Math Prereq Prep Time Price
App Inventor for Android
This MIT-created platform uses visual blocks to allow students to create apps that can be exported to Android devices. Large library of tutorials that get as advanced as SMS texting and GPS. Requires a Google Account to use.
Detailed video tutorials for Scratch and App Inventor for Android. Advanced students can check out tutorials on C#.
Scratch 2.0
Created at MIT, Scratch popularized visual blocks as a way of learning programming. But don’t let the easy interface and cute graphics fool you–users can make and share anything from simple animations to fully-fledged games.
SNAP!’s visual blocks support higher level computer science concepts like recursion, procedures, and continuations, making it appropriate for even college level intro classes. While it doesn’t have the same social functions of Scratch, SNAP! can work with the Nintendo Wiimote and LEGO Mindstorms NXT. Comes with a manual and sample projects and can use much of Scratch’s documentation as well.
Game creation software that allows users to make playable apps for iOS, Android, HTML5, Window, and Mac. The game logic is programmed with visual blocks. The official site has forums and a crash course to get you started.
Inspired by Scratch, Tynker has a dashboard to allow teachers to create a more structured way of teaching code with visual blocks. Includes assessment, classroom management, lesson plans, and a built in tutor. Free for schools.


Learn a Formal Coding Language

Compiled by EdSurge

Product Math Prereq Prep Time Price
Code Avengers
In-browser exercises and courses in JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3. Courses are free for individuals and $5 each for student licenses (which include extra resources and progress tracking) with bulk discounts available.
Code Combat
In-browser, multiplayer live coding game set in a fantasy world. You play as a wizard who navigates obstacles and battles enemies using Javascript.
Code Hero
Still in alpha, this game aims to teach JavaScript in the context of a first-person-shooter. Users blast objects using a code gun, which applies specific properties to those objects.
Code School
Offers full courses in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Ruby, and iOS. Students will learn through video and practice coding in their browser–no downloads required!
Full courses in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and PHP. Exercises are done in browser and checked automatically for accuracy.
Students learn JavaScript by commanding a dog named Karel to move around the screen. Classes advance to understanding data structures and programming for games. The first module is free to use, gaining access to the rest of the site is $25/month, and receiving feedback and debugging in addition to access is $75/month.
Full courses in a variety of languages: Javascript, HTML5, CSS, Ruby, Python and more. Classes are online and instructor led and students must be able to download the programming environments to their computers. Prices are on a per course basis and vary with each class.
Beginning courses in JavaScript, Python, SQL and general computer science. Also offers higher level logic courses in topics like Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Computational Neuroscience. Note that classes have start and end dates. Founded by Stanford computer science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller.
Covers languages like Python, Ruby, C++ as well as higher level classes in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Graphics. Classes are taught through video, PDFs, and tutorials. Students answer problem sets and take tests online. Discussion boards connect students with professors and each other. Note that courses have specific start and end dates.
Blended-learning courses that teach students to design and code educational games. Start by playing and analyzing games, move onto prototyping and coding in Flash Actionscript, Unity3D, Java Script, and more. Used as standalone courses or to supplement core classes. Annual school subscription $75/student includes onsite professional development, virtual mentorship, and daily support system for students, teachers and administrators.
Hackety Hack
An introductory Ruby environment for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Its website includes a few early lessons in Ruby.
HTML5 Rocks
Online resource with tutorials, demos, and sample work in HTML5. Supplementary resource for educators teaching the language.
JS Dares
A collection of JavaScript lessons that go from teaching a student about basic syntax to helping them recreate working games. Browser-based and completely free.
Khan Academy
Users watch videos, do exercises and play with sample code to learn JavaScript programming basics. Completely browser-based with an interactive player/editor.
This free, downloadable program teaches kids Ruby and can be used completely offline. KidsRuby includes resources from other programs like Hackety Hack and Ruby Warrior. It can be installed on Mac, Linux, Windows, and even Raspberry Pi.
Learn Code the Hard Way
As its name suggests, this set of courses is for self-motivated learners. Html lessons walk complete novice coders through their languages of choice: Ruby, C, SQL, Regex, or CLI. Each course requires the installation of the chosen development environment (which is explained thoroughly). For $29, students can buy PDF versions of the lessons as well as gain access to tutorial videos.
Courses in JavaScript, Ruby, Python, HTML, and CSS where students can practice coding in their browsers. Courses are free but users can pay for 1 on 1 tutoring.
A collection of video tutorials covering a wide variety of formal coding languages. Beginners and advanced users alike can find lessons to suit their needs. Access to videos costs $25/month; users can access videos and exercise files for $37.50/month.
MIT OpenCourseWare
This initiative by MIT puts all of the course materials from the university’s undergraduate and graduate courses online. This includes syllabi, reading lists, and sometimes practice questions and video lectures. Covers many formal programming languages and offers advanced theory classes as well. Recommended for students who are self-motivated.
Mozilla Thimble
Sample websites with annotations guiding students to change variables to impact aesthetics and usability. Instructors will want to create their own lessons around the content.
Offers a full course in Java through video and interactive code. Also has extensive sample code from many other formal languages like C++, PHP, Ruby, Python, Android, and iOS.
Stack Overflow
Massive repository of coding information and help available online. Covers every formal coding language on this list.
The Puzzle School
JavaScript and HTML training in the context of puzzles. While not a full course in the languages, the browser-based games teach important fundamentals.
Turtle Academy
A collection of short, free lessons using the Logo programming language. Students will learn the basics of programming logic in this browser-based program.
Tuts+ Premium
Full courses in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Ruby, and other web development tools. Subscriptions are $19/month with discounts for groups.
Developed at Stanford, this MOOC covers many different coding topics including Java, HTML5, Python, as well as logic classes in AI and debugging.
This MOOC covers a wide range of programming langauges including: Java, Ruby, C++, PHP, HTML, CSS, and more. Courses are taught through video, slides, and PDFs and require students to install the appropriate programming environments. Classes generally range between $50 and $100.
$50+ /lesson
W3 Schools
Extensive tutorials in web development languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, PHP, and SQL. Includes interactive sample code.




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