10 Great Resources for Teaching Programming and Coding to Secondary School Students.

July 11, 2016
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A few years ago, coding and computer programming was introduced into the UK curriculum for students in both primary and secondary schools in an effort to prepare students for the workforce in the 21st century.

When it comes to preparing primary and secondary school students with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century workforce, the UK has become the first to implement computer coding and programming on a national level.  It also means that UK educators are tasked with teaching coding and programming, some of which have no previous experience in this area.

The good news is there are a variety of high quality resources available for both educators and students that make teaching and learning coding a lot easier.  To help you get started in your search, here are ten of the best secondary school resources that making learning coding fun and interesting.

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Codeacademy is an educational resource that provides a variety of programs and applications that help teachers easily integrate coding and programming into the new computer science curriculum. Codeacademy is comprised of a team of certified professionals capable of delivering a state-of-the-art online learning experience for educators of all levels, in addition to any adults who wish to learn how to code.

Some of the resources that help to equip educators to teach students of all ages include a teacher training program which offer free coding courses to help you succeed with teaching coding in the classroom.  Each course is designed to accommodate different levels, regardless if you are a beginner or already have some experience with coding and programming.

Codeacademy also offers a variety of classroom resources including free lessons plans that align with the computer science curriculum for secondary schools. Additionally, you have access to classroom tracking tools that help you to stay on top of each student’s individual performance.

Registering for a membership with Codeacademy is free and allows you to easily login to access courses and resources on the Codeacademy website.

Click here to visit the codeacademy website.

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Scratch is a programming language that is designed for students ranging from ages 8 to 16 in addition to adults as well. Secondary school students can use Scratch to learn how to program interactive games, stories, and animations and then share their projects with the Scratch online community.

Scratch is an effective way to teach secondary school students creative thinking skills as well as how to collaborate and use reasoning to complete programming projects.  Students also learn how to solve problems, communicate ideas, and design creative projects.

Scratch is also used by students at the university level and across many disciplines including computer science, math, and other subjects.  The Scratch website also provides a community for educators to share resources, exchange ideas, and ask questions.

You can also find like-minded educators to network with on the ScratchEd website. The online community consists of more than 7000 educators across the globe that gather to share ideas and resources and participate in interactive discussions.

Click here to visit the Scratch website. 

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CAS – Computing at School.

CAS – Computing at School is a community of like-minded individuals and professionals whose goal is to provide a solid education for primary and secondary school students in computer science.  CAS community members run hundreds of regional hubs that allow educators and students to get local support with learning coding and teaching it in the classroom.

For each hub, members meet with one another to share resources and exchange ideas.  You also have access to more than 3000 resources in addition to a variety of free workshops to help you feel confident teaching coding in the classroom.  There is also an online discussion area where you can take your questions or come up with new inspirations for teaching computer science.

CAS is supported by BCS Academy, Technocamps, The Education Fellowship, School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester, iCompute, Computer Science for Fun at the Queen Mary University of London, and many other notable organizations.

Click here to visit the CAS website.

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Codio is a complete platform solution designed to support secondary computer science teachers in addition to students at the secondary level. It provides a cost effective alternative solution for teaching computer science in the classroom.

The Codio platform provides an online code editor along with courses that align with the new computer curriculum. Additionally, you have access to course publishing tools that provide a way for students to share projects.

As an educator, Codio provides you with access to student monitoring tools which allow you to track individual progress and simplify classroom management.  The auto-assessment tools are coded so you can automatically mark them and provide immediate feedback for your students.

The courses are curriculum mapped with more than 80 units available on various computer science skill topics.  The topics include but are not limited to Python, JavaScript, and computational thinking and are developed in conjunction with Cambridge, Oxford, and the RSA, a leading exam board in the UK.

Click here to visit the Codio website.

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CodeBug is a computing platform that provides a way for educators to provide wearable electronics for their students.  The projects you can create with CodeBug address all levels including beginner, intermediate, and advanced in addition to the accompanying coursework.

CodeBug is a wearable device designed to introduce coding and programming to students of all ages.  It contains text and graphics and is equipped with touch-sensitive inputs.  The device can be powered using a simple watch battery and works in conjunction with an online interface.

The interface contains drag and drop color blocks, an online community, and an emulator that works in your web browser.  Students can create projects from the beginning to advanced level including robots, games, lighting controls, and much more.

The courses provided by CodeBug are aligned with the national curriculum and consist of activities that are organized with progression.  This ensures students can grasp the basics of computer programming including algorithms, logic, data representation, and abstraction.  The activities are easy to follow and are in a step-by-step format. The courses are also designed for beginners, intermediate and advanced level students.

Click here to visit the Codebug website.

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CodeHS is an educational program designed to assist schools, educators, and students with the implementation of high quality computer science curriculums.  The curriculum is web-based with an abundance of professional development activities and tools that help educators effectively teach coding and programming in the classroom.

CodeHS aligns with the national computer curriculum and is used by schools across the globe.  The mission is to provide fun and interactive learning experiences for both teachers and students to make learning how to code an enjoyable experience.  The program is designed for students in K-12 in addition to students on the university level.

The core focus of the CodeHS curriculum is to help students develop skills in various programming languages in addition to computational thinking skills and problem solving.  The courses include but are not limited to Python, JavaScript, Computer Science principles, and much more

CodeHS also offers professional development courses for teachers even if you have no experience with programming.  The professional development programs are designed to help all teachers to feel confident teaching coding and programming in the classroom.

CodeHS offers a selection of different membership plans to meet the needs of every school.

Click here to visit the CodeHS website.

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Invent with Python.

Invent with Python provides a series of educational resources that teach students how to create their own computer games using programming concepts learned in the course.  Invent with Python offers an intuitive hands-on approach to allow students to immediately jump into programming with Python.

Making Games with Python and Pygame provides learners with source code from the Pygame library that helps them learn how to create interactive games.  This educational resource is designed as a sequel to Invent with Python.  Once students have the knowledge and skills learned using Invent with Python, they can use those skills in the sequel to develop their knowledge using the Pygame library.

The Hacking Secret Ciphers resource helps students to learn the fundamentals of Python and provides several different types of code for hacking programs and ciphers.  The programs include simple substitution cipher, Caesar cipher, Vigenere cipher, transposition cipher public key cryptography, RSA cipher, and more.

Educators have access to a 50 percent discount code for orders of any size.

Click here to visit the Invent with Python website.

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AppShed Academy.

AppShed Academy is a free online educational resource that teaches students how to create apps using an intuitive interface and app environment.  Students also have the ability to share their creations with others and test their projects in real-time.  Advanced students can expand their abilities using PHP programming, CSS, JavaScript and HTML to create apps that are fully interactive.

Thanks to the step-by-step design in the courses, teachers can easily integrate programming and coding into the curriculum without having complete knowledge of the creation of apps.  The app building tool easily integrates with classroom projects and assignments.

Using AppShed Academy, teachers can access a variety of lesson plans, tutorials, videos, and much more. Memberships start with a free account for one user and range up to an EDU account for up to 500+ users for £180 per year.

Click here to visit the AppShed Academy website. 

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NCLab is an educational resource for both primary and secondary school students.  The resources are designed in a way that teachers do not have to be coding and programming experts to effectively implement computer science in the classroom.  Using NCLab, students learn the required STEM subjects including 3D modeling and computer programming.

The NCLab courses are self-paced to allow students to progress at their own skill level. The courses include the Karel Jr Coding Course which is the next level up following Scratch.  The 3D Modeling Course helps students learn how to build models using geometry concepts.  The Python Coding Course teaches students the Python programming language used for science, business, and engineering applications.

All courses can also be used in coding clubs and other programs outside of the classroom. Additionally, teachers and support staff have access to a selection of free resources including lesson plans, tutorials, videos, NCLab textbooks, and more.

Click here to visit the NCLab website. 

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Code.org Studio.

Code.org Studio is an educational resource that offers 20 hour courses in coding and programming for students in both primary and secondary schools.  The courses focus on core coding and programming concepts in addition to higher level computer science concepts for advanced students using the App Lab resource.

App Lab teaches secondary school students how to create interactive apps using JavaScript.  Students can access a comprehensive programming environment to build the apps using the concepts learned in the Code.org Studio courses.

As an educator, you will have access to a generous amount of teaching resources to help you feel confident implementing coding and programming into the computer science curriculum. There is also an online community where you can network with other computer science teachers, ask questions, and stay on top of the latest news in coding and programming.

Click here to visit the Code.org Studio website.

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Who are we?

Our ICT is an award winning  London-based technology company that specialises in providing ICT support and project management services to the UK Education sector.

Our website is packed full of information about our services, products, clients and our people. Take a look around the site to find out more about our award winning IT support solutions for schools.

Thanks for reading our latest blog post. We’d really appreciate your constructive feedback in the comments section below!

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