We’ve had some requests for recommendations for K-12 resources for teaching coding and computer science so we reached out to some folks in the know. Here’s a summary of what we learned:
Hadi Partovi is CEO of . He thinks . His site is that make the case for coding–a good place to start.
Ed Lazowska, University of Washington, said, “To state the obvious, there is no substitute for a motivated, curious teacher who is empowered to do great things with his/her students. That said, has been looking pretty good to us for an intro course.”
“What’s popular these days is the CS Principles course. These are part of a national effort to revise the Computer Science AP exam. UW has one of these prototype courses, but probably the is getting most traction.”
“David Malan’s intro course at Harvard is available online both directly and through edX. It’s a wonderful course, and David is a superb teacher. I know a number of (smart, motivated) middle teenagers who have loved this course online.”
Lazowska added, “The community is a good place to start.”
Albert Wenger, , said, “[As an investor] We of course like and they have an .” He added, “ also has some good courses.”
Fred Wilson (Wegner’s partner at USV) helped create the in NYC and they have an extensive curriculum.
“The NSF’s is becoming a standard for the intro to CS class in most high schools. That is often followed by the new and then the legacy AP CS class for those who want to really go deep,” said Wilson.
Hutter also likes . “They coordinate a volunteer army of software engineers to mobilize and train inner city students in code learning with a focus on disadvantaged populations. It’s not a curriculum but a service and they work directly on premise with high need districts. I couldn’t commend the team there higher for their dedication and mission.” CodeNow launched its six week Summer Fellowship on July 1 with a class of 20 outstanding NYC students getting smart at NYU.
Tim Brady, , said (that in addition to CodeHS, which he incubated), “You could also include: from MIT, , and for offering Computer Science lessons, as well.” He added, “there is a pretty good list at .”
Nic Borg, , said, “Two popular apps being used by teachers and students on the Edmodo platform are and ’ Arduino Programmer.”
- ManyLabs’s provides an Arduino Programmer that enables students to write, save, and share Arduino programs. A Starter Kit is also available which includes an Arduino along with a collection of sensors and other devices for your classroom.
NAF’s research is led by Andy Rothstein. Like Brady, he’s a fan of , , and . Like Wilson, he likes and the new AP Computer Science Principles, “This is being piloted now and will be released in a couple of years.” Alison Anderson, Getting Smart teacher blogger, likes the Mozilla , “Thimble allows anyone to hack websites in a “sandbox” with a split screen–code on one side, what you’re creating on the other.” She added, “Webmaker has that easily work for students. My students enjoyed it the most because they could see the results of their coding in real time and it allowed the students to interact and get creative with real websites, and seemed to work right at their ability level.”
Also, in Oregon now have the chance to enroll in a new elective courses through , with an extensive library of step-by-step video courses and training exercises, students earn badges by learning the skills needed to build apps and websites.”
Adam Renfro, of , said, “My kids have to use one of these each day: , , , , , . And, for the iPad and iPhone Adam recommends: and , “I like the best so far,” said Renfro. “Hakitzu and another iPad app called Hopscotch are really great. If the kids don’t have access to a computer, they use the iPad,” Adam added, “also checkout ,” noting that, “Coding is pretty much an after school event in most places.”
Tricia Moore, (Columbus OH), said their STEM elementary runs competitions ( ). “Students participating in the competition learned to program from Java for Dummies plus trial and error. No kidding.”
“At our STEM middle school, students who had demonstrated mastery in the core subjects before the last week of school were able to choose among several Udacity courses, including computer science, for acceleration,” added Moore. “Job shadowing and other online coursework were also options. My kiddo worked through a bunch of Codeacademy modules. He wrote a report explaining the different computer languages and why his teachers should use Codeacademy in their core instruction.”
Reynoldsburg High School eSTEM academy usesPhysics, Calculus, and Computer Science. 9th grade students rotate through a nine week double blocked computer science course using a portion of a Udacity course in a blended presentation with a former computer scientist teaching it. 15 students took the Udacity CS course this summer. School head Marcy Raymond said, “We will also give credit for through flex credit. Students are able to apply for credit using completion of coursework with Coursera with a performance or project that demonstrates application of what they have learned.”
Alex Hernandez, Charter School Growth Fund, agreed with Adam and added (for iPad) Move the Turtle and Hopscotch. Back in browser-land, he likesand . He also reminded us not to forget physical computing, for example:
Dennis Yang, , said, “We have a great affordable library of coding/CS resources that come along with native apps on iPad and iPhone. We have private access Udemy for Organizations if they would like to have more control over their experience.” Grechen Huebner, , sent a note about Kodable, “A tool for parents to help their K-2 grade child learn the basics of problem solving and programming.” She added, “We’re already in the app store and are free to download,” with, “curriculum full of additional features designed to help kids learn and adults teach programming.”
Kelly Drill, , said, “Our dev team is actually working on a new project to help young kids develop the logic/problem-solving skills they’ll need to eventually learn coding. Kids program a robot to navigate through progressively challenging mazes and can even go head-to-head with friends in programming tournaments.
CodeHS, Coursera, Edmodo, and Udemy are portfolio companies of Learn Capital where Tom is a partner.
This blog is brought to you by Microsoft as part of a series on coding for college and career readiness. For more, stay tuned in January for the final published project, Getting Smart on Coding for College and Career Readiness and check out additional posts in the series: