Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer … because it teaches you how to think. – Steve Jobs
If you’re interested in learning about computer programming, it’s a good idea to take classes on the subject as early as possible. That means being able to take introductory courses at the High School level. Students who start understanding how to code early on will be able to further improve their web development and become prime candidates for many companies looking to hire web designers and programmers. It can be a very satisfying field to become part of, but what programming software and tools can be used to help students gain a better understanding? Here are ten software programs and websites that might just help.
A Speedy Introduction
- An Hour of Code (http://csedweek.org/) is a fun introductory course to programming that only takes, you guessed it, one hour to complete. It’s perhaps the fastest, easiest way to get a preview and basic understanding of what programming and coding is all about. If you’re not sure whether or not you want to pursue it, this is the course for you to try out first.
About Programming Video – Listen to Bill Gates(Microsoft Founder), Mark Zuckerberg(Facebook Founder), Jack Dorsey (Twitter Founder) talk about why programming is awesome.
Getting the Basics
- CodeHS (http://codehs.com/) This is it. You’re moments away from a website with a reputation for being one of the most detailed, highly involved High School programming websites available. You’ll learn how to code and gain all the information you’ll ever need about basic programming from this one site alone.
- Code.org (nonprofit Code.org) This website teaches high school students how to code and continues to lay the foundation as an organization that makes it easy to find access to unique classes that teach the fundamentals of programming without making it too difficult to understand.
Programming Games for Middle School and High School
- Code Avengers – One of the most entertaining and enjoyable sites for having fun while high school students learn to code.
- Light Bot and Light Bot 2 are Flash based games that are simple, easy to use and will help you learn how to program.
- Bug Brain (biologic.com.au/bugbrain/) is a fun game where you build a brain in order to make a bug run.
- The Fantastic Contraption (http://www.kongregate.com/games/inXile_Ent/fantastic-contraption) series of games have helped many students get the idea of how programming works.
- Toon Talk 3 (http://www.toontalk.com/English/free.htm) Helps students understand programming languages.
- Hackety Hack (http://hackety.com/) Want to be a web programmer? Want to work for Twitter, Facebook, or Google. Learn the basics on the Ruby style of programming.
Schools Hacking Code
- Beaver County Day School (http://www.bcdschool.org/) Located at Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, has a brand new course that focuses just on programming and coding. It’s a great place to be able to find software and other helpful tips and tricks to get started on the right track to programming.
- Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams (http://web.mit.edu/inventeams/) is also a great school that has their own program called InvenTeams related to invention and programming. They even have special software that is catered exclusively to the students who go there.