The Three Best Free Coding Websites for Kids. From 2012 to 2022, the field of computer science is projected to grow 22%, which is much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Computer software is a growing field and allows for a great job outlook as well as entrepreneurial potential. As such, coding skills are incredibly useful for today’s students to learn — but it’s not just due to job prospects. Since today’s most interesting tools and platforms can all be manipulated by coding, having coding skills is also a great jumping off point for greater independence creativity.
Today there are many resources for people to learn code. The Barbies and GI Joes of yesteryear have become tablets and smart phones. Young kids, such as 12-year-old Thomas Suarez, who gave this excellent TED Talk, are learning advanced forms of coding that few adults even fully grasp. The following is a list of websites online that offer free tutorials and courses for children that want to learn how to code. And even if you are not a kid, you might learn a thing or two. We reviewed a collection of websites and the following three are the best that we found, incorporating various features that put them above the rest. We went through all the most popular coding websites on the Internet and found the three best free coding websites, based on the following criteria:
● Ease of use
Without further ado, the following are the best coding websites we found that was designed especially with kids in mind.
The layout of Code Avengers is clean and aesthetically pleasing. It just makes sense. While some parts are a little saturated with text, for the most part the lessons are easy to follow. As per the introduction page, each lesson is divided into 5 tasks. The instructions are on the left side of the screen. The middle column is the editor, where users enter lines of code into the system. Once users enter code, the right column shows the result via a smartphone graphic. This ability to graphically represent code is one of the standout features of Code Avengers.
One awesome feature of the Code Avengers platform is its Hints feature. There are four levels. The first level is the Hint Button, which is the white question mark in a red square. The second level is the Example Code option, wherein users are able to compare codes to figure out what is correct. The third level is the Reference directory located at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. This is a list of commands for each code language. The fourth level is a Contact Us” option, where users are able to ask questions and get them answered. These three features make Code Avengers quite useful.
● Graphic representation of code via smartphone
● Hints Feature
● Graphics are a little too simple
● There is no gameplay aspect
As Edudemic’s Ann Elliot explored back in January of 2015, Lightbot is one of our favorite platforms to use when learning how to code. It integrates fun gameplay with coding lessons, teaching principles and concepts of coding, such as if-then statements. Best of all, it is a fun and addictive game format. While the game doesn’t teach a specific language per se, such as Java or Python, it does teach the abstract ideas of coding that may be difficult to understand. These ideas are common throughout different programming languages. Lightbot offers a free introductory course that contributes to the Hour of Code initiative. On the web platform, there is no sign-up required. There are three levels of play, which are Basics, Procedures, and Loops.
The Basics level introduces users to commands. At first, this feels like just another puzzle game, which is the genius of Lightbot. Users start at three commands and increase as they are able to pass each level.
This next level introduces users to the idea of procedures, which are groups of commands that can be called upon as a group at a later time. As levels increase, so does the difficulty of the procedures that users must group together in order to successfully reach the end goal.
This level teaches users about loops, which are lines of code that repeat over and over again. The simple graphics make the concept ridiculously easy to understand. It’s a beautiful thing.
Lightbot does a great job of incorporating beautiful graphics, complex concepts, and awesome gameplay into one simple app. This is a fantastic game for introducing students to the theories of coding before actually jumping into a coding language. Each lesson builds on the previous lessons, until users easily learn new coding concepts without even realizing it. That is powerful. Lightbot is available on Android, iOS, and web.
● Great game play
● Attractive graphics
● Simplifies complex ideas
● Does not teach a specific coding language
Last, but not least, is Code Combat, a web platform that offers some pretty amazing features. The graphics on Code Combat game are amazing. It is very clear that the developers of this course placed a strong emphasis on the teachability of the game as well as the gameplay aspect. Second, users produce lines of code in order to move their characters through mazes and in battle. In this way, it is somewhat similar to lightbot, where lines of code are used to manipulate avatars. Third, Code Combat has provided a multiplayer platform wherein users can go head-to-head against other players. And trust me, this is a competitive sport. It is clever how developers created this platform and turned coding into a weapon that can be used to win a game. This type of motivation pushes users to become better faster.
There is just one thing that we don’t like about this app: it’s difficult to maneuver. Unlike the other two platforms, Code Combat takes a little bit longer to get accustomed to, as instructions are not clear in the beginning. In addition, the first time I played it took me a while to learn how to actually function in multiplayer mode.
Once users are able to overcome those two obstacles, gameplay and graphics are fun and beautiful. This is one of the best on the list.
● Beautiful graphics
● Thoughtful gameplay design
● Uses competition as motivation
● Difficult to start up in the beginning
It is difficult to predict exactly where the future will go, but it is certain that with the growing usefulness of the internet, computer software engineers are leading the way. Learning how to code is the first step.