Tools to Teach Coding and Computer Science

Computer Science is described as a “new basic skill” necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility. [1]  Computer Science for All (CS4All), President Obama’s new initiative to empower all American students to learn computational thinking and computer science skills — aims to prepare students to be creators in the digital economy — not just consumers.

CS Demand
Image credit: SAS Pathfinders

Some estimates predict that 23000+ computer science educators are needed by 2025.  This is a daunting challenge.  How will we rise to this challenge?  

The good news is that there are many excellent (and in many cases, free) resources and materials for teaching various computer science skills.  Specifically, it is easier than ever to learn coding fundamentals.

This page will organize various types of tools and resources for educators and students.  Know of a good tool?  Please contact us and let us know your recommendations!

 

Tools for Teaching Coding

Here are our recommended tools for teaching and learning coding skills.

 

Game Creation Tools

  • GameSalad Edu – A drag-and-drop (no programming required) game creation tool to teach computer science fundamentals.
  • Construct – An HTML5 game creation tool (no programming needed) well suited for 2D game creation.
  • CoSpaces – A virtual reality creation tool — ideal for the classroom — that also allows scripting in Blockly and other languages.
  • RPG Maker
  • Kodu
  • GameMaker
  • Gamestar Mechanic
  • Twine – A tool to create interactive fiction.
  • Unity 3D – One of the most popular game creation tools.

Drag and Drop Editors

  • Scratch – A simple drag-and-drop interface to allow kids to program their own interactive stories, games, and animations.

MOOCs and Resources

References:

  1. https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/01/30/computer-science-all

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Please cite this article as: David L, "Tools to Teach Coding and Computer Science," in Learning Theories, November 12, 2016, https://www.learning-theories.com/tools-to-teach-coding-and-computer-science.