For the last few months, my oldest daughter has been designing a website and online game in her paper journal. But now she’s decided that she’s ready to bring it to life, which presents a bit of a technical challenge, and a possibly expensive one at that.
But with a little searching and asking around, I found a few excellent resources and programs for parents and educators who are looking to teach kids how to code.
First, you’ll want to bookmark Code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to growing computer programming education introduced to me by a fellow techie mom (and app developer) Kathryn Tucker. Along with the extensive list of resources and support for educators, there’s a wealth of tutorials, apps, and links for parents (or older kids who can navigate on their own), including Khan Academy, which we’ve featured here on Cool Mom Tech. Plus plenty of other sites and resources that were new to me. My daughter is already playing around with a kid-friendly version of Ruby, which is what was used to build Twitter. She’s 8, by the way.
I’ve also been researching ID Tech Camps, which are nationwide summer programs in everything from coding to web design to app development, starting with kids age 7 up through seniors in high school. The camps last everywhere from a few days to weeks at a time, and are not cheap, but if you’ve got a child that’s really interested in learning how to make websites, games, and apps, then this could be a great option for her.
And for those of you with teen girls, I highly recommend checking out Girls Who Code, which offers an 8-week summer computer programming intensive for sophomores and juniors in high school. Your girls will need to apply for admission, and be able to attend for the entire intensive, which is offered to accepted students completely free. They’re also pilot testing Girls Who Code clubs in a couple of schools right now, but will hopefully be rolling out a national program soon. -Kristen
What are your favorite resources for teaching kids about technology?