Home Free Tools & Resources July App Ed Review Roundup: Get Your “Code On” this Summer!

July App Ed Review Roundup: Get Your “Code On” this Summer!

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Summer is a Great Time to Explore Coding Apps

There is no doubt that summer time can be packed with adventures, vacations, and activities galore! However, that does not mean there isn't any down time. Students (and teachers) can use that down time to sharpen up their coding skills, which can be invaluable during the next school year and well into the future!

In this edition of the Round Up, we are going to highlight some of our favorite tools that teach computer coding skills! And no, this edtech is not the same old, same old instruction for coding that instructs users to “type this” and “enter that” one direction at a time. Each technology below provides users a dynamic learning experience geared to teaching coding in an engaging format.

Also, as a reminder, every application reviewed by us is posted on the App Ed Review website and includes an original description, 3-5 instructional ideas for using it, and a comprehensive evaluation of it. We also provide screenshots of the edtech in action, which help users visualize how they could use it in their classroom. With that said, onto the computer coding edtech!

  1. Free Code Camp is one of the most dynamic tools for learning coding ever. After launching and then registering with it, students first learn the basics about how to use the website before selecting the computer coding language they wish to learn. Once selected, Free Code Camp guides them through tutorials in a way that makes the tutorials easy to complete and the learning seamless. As students progress through the tutorials, they will have opportunities to complete digital projects for non-profits to support their growth. Also, Free Code Camp provides information about various organizations that they can join and/or start chapters of at their school, with the goal of getting more students involved in coding! Earning high scores for rigor and 21st century skills, students who use Free Code Camp will begin acquiring the skills they need to enter the field of computer science. To learn more about Free Code Camp, click here.
  2. Codeacademy is another website that teaches students how to code. The attributes that make Codeacademy standout in addition to its tutorials are the stats it provides students as they move through its different tutorials. From an accountability perspective, these stats allow teachers to quickly and easily track the frequency of student use and amount of progress they make. However, that is not to say that Codeacademy is not engaging. Its tutorials allow students to progress at their own pace while providing them quality learning experiences with the language and project they are completing. One idea we really like to get student buy-in to using Codeacademy and Free Code Camp is to let students preview both websites and let them choose which they would like to use! With high scores for its level of material and media integration, we are sure Codeacademy can be used in your classroom. To check out Codeacademy, click here.
  3. With gameplay being a hot trend in edtech, CodeCombat has cashed in on it with its interface. Though other pieces of edtech have used a similar game-based approach to teaching coding – Scratch, Kodable, and Lightbot One Hour Coding – none have quite the engaging interface as the one provided by CodeCombat. Essentially, teachers have to create a class and then students register with the website. Next, students progress levels in the game by completing different tasks. In order to complete the tasks, students must acquire the coding skills necessary to navigate an avatar through a challenge. With its aesthetic and interactivity, CodeCombat will likely engage your students deeply! For more ideas about using CodeCombat, click here.
  4. Computer Hope is essentially a detailed reference resource for anything computers. From tips for using Microsoft Office programs to community forums about technology related topics through a “Today in Computer History” section, this website has something for everyone! However, perhaps the most useful tool that Computer Hope offers is its “Dictionary” section. In it, users can browse terms or search for specific ones, and Computer Hope will provide a definition and examples of the term in use. While using another computer coding website or app, this “Dictionary” section is very useful when coming across new or unknown terms. With its easy-to-use interface and high scores for utility, we are sure Computer Hope will be of some value for you and your students! To read more about Computer Hope, click here.

That’s all for this month’s Roundup. If you would like more information about any of the edtech mentioned here or that are on the App Ed Review website, please contact us at info@appedreview.com. And remember, teaching coding can be cool with the right tool!

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Alex Fegely is a Social Studies teacher at The Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology, a STEM school in Myrtle Beach. In addition, Alex is an adjunct instructor at Coastal Carolina University. Previously, he has taught English and Digital Media. Alex believes that technology is an invaluable classroom tool for differentiating instruction and engaging learners.   Todd Cherner is an assistant professor of education at Coastal Carolina University. Previous to becoming a professor, Todd was a high school English and Journalism teacher at Leesburg High School, where he also coached bowling. Professionally, Todd believes technology's presence in education is going to continue to increase, and he wants to support teachers with quality resources for using technology effectively in the classroom.

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