We get asked that question all the time. And honestly, that’s why our courses resonate with parents. You have a child who is extremely familiar with technology but you don’t know where to start or how to help guide them. Here are some of the tools that we use in our introductory courses at TechWise. All of these tools are free and available via any modern web browser (most will work on tablets as well).
Hour of Code – https://code.org/learn
This is the very first place your child should start. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching students globally to teach them how to code. This is a game-like, self-directed tutorial that engages students right away. Your child will learn the basic building blocks of programming and will see introductory videos from Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Once you finish the initial Hour of Code program there are tons of other tutorials throughout the site. Flappy Bird is typically a crowd favorite.
Scratch – https://scratch.mit.edu
Once your child masters the basics in the Hour of Code, the next step is to engage them with Scratch. You should create an account with Scratch so that all of your work can be saved. There are tutorials that can help you get started but children typically take right off with this tool. Your child can create games with movement, characters, and backgrounds and are truly only limited by their imagination. The great thing about Scratch is that you can also view thousands of games that have been submitted by others online (as well as the code that allows the game to work).
Thimble – https://thimble.webmaker.org/
There are tons of other tools available and most can be found very easily with a Google Search. The big thing is to not be intimidated by the various languages and “tech talk”. Typically your child will pick up on this much quicker than you expect.
Our first introductory course is coming up on September 26th. You’re encouraged to join your child and watch their creativity at work!