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Glean - Digital Literacy Teaching Tools - The Public Learning Media Laboratory

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6 to 12
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Small but mighty, this site has several lesson plans for the digital classroom. Use, share, and help create digital literacy lesson plans using Google Docs at Glean. Also, use the ...more
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Small but mighty, this site has several lesson plans for the digital classroom. Use, share, and help create digital literacy lesson plans using Google Docs at Glean. Also, use the hashtag #lessonhack on Twitter to follow the development of ideas and the lessons. Use the drop-down menu for Lessons to view plans for Media, Data, Information, Network Literacy, and also find Security and Privacy lessons. Find plans already created that include, To Teach Memes, Teaching Media Making, Terms of Service, and there are several others about the Internet and IPs. One lesson on Safer Sexting states, "This is not intended to condone sexting; rather it is designed to provide young people (at risk through their sexting behavior) with digital literacies and personal practices to mitigate negative impacts of the sexting they've done."

tag(s): computers (95), digital citizenship (59), internet safety (109)

In the Classroom

Computer Literacy teachers and those responsible for teaching Internet safety in any course are sure to find a lesson they need. Take advantage of these free lessons to educate students about the basics of the Internet from safety to reading the terms of service to creating or sharing memes. After these lessons, challenge students to create a simple infographic about what they learned using Piktochart, reviewed here. The lessons and (some of) the descriptions include resources you may want to share with parents and school counselors so they can have a conversation about the topics with their students. Discuss topics on this site as part of Internet safety lessons. Share this site with school counselors as a resource for teens facing online safety issues.

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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools: Using Images in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

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2 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from November 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore three online tools for working with images. Discover the differences...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from November 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore three online tools for working with images. Discover the differences between the three tools. Discuss and learn ways to use images in the classroom. Share ideas for different ways that images could be used in the classroom. Create a project exemplar for use in your classroom. Remember, it's OK2Ask'®. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Learn about and compare 3 different tools for working with images; (2) Evaluate the uses for working with these tools in the classroom; (3) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (4) Start a project using one of the given tools. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

tag(s): images (266)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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StackEdit - Benoit Schweblin

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8 to 12
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StackEdit is a free MarkDown editor offering several options for creating, saving, and collaborating with documents. Choose the "Start Writing Now" link to create a document ready for...more
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StackEdit is a free MarkDown editor offering several options for creating, saving, and collaborating with documents. Choose the "Start Writing Now" link to create a document ready for publication to blogs. Go through the tutorial and then click on the folder symbol all the way to the right of the top menu bar. Select new document. Start typing your document adding images, hyperlinks, and more using the menu bar. The split screen allows users to preview content in HTML and see how the final view will look while creating it, making it easy to see the end product. Open, save, and collaborate using Google documents and DropBox content. Publish the finished product to WordPress, GitHub, and other blogging platforms, or save as a PDF. StackEdit is simple and intuitive, and first-timers will be very comfortable using it. At the time of this review, StackEdit ran very slowly on Chrome.

tag(s): blogs (88), coding (47), editing (61)

In the Classroom

Sometimes students (and teachers) get distracted by the appearance of a project instead of focusing on the content. Using StackEdit and Markdown language offers the opportunity to set up and format text before adding the "bells and whistles." Have students use StackEdit to create and polish content for blogs or other projects requiring HTML, then upload and add images, graphs, and maps later.

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CodeChef for Schools - Directi

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8 to 12
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. Choose the Get Started button to begin as a newbie and explore frequently asked questions. Choose the practice...more
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. Choose the Get Started button to begin as a newbie and explore frequently asked questions. Choose the practice area to hone skills from beginner level through challenge level. Compete in monthly competitions with other coders from around the globe. Middle and high school students will appreciate the lunchtime contests, an introduction to competitive coding, targeted for their age group. These take place the last Saturday of each month, and specific times are posted on the site. The demonstration videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (47), competitions (16), computers (95), critical thinking (108), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. The site offers different levels, so differentiation is built in. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Encourage advanced students to enter the monthly competitions offered on CodeChef.

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Microsoft Project Siena - Microsoft

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6 to 12
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Project Siena is a tool for creating Windows-based apps without any prior app-building experience. View the video tutorials and download sample apps, then follow the link to get Siena...more
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Project Siena is a tool for creating Windows-based apps without any prior app-building experience. View the video tutorials and download sample apps, then follow the link to get Siena on your computer, this only works on Windows operating systems. Modify the sample apps for your own use, or use them to understand how to include features and build your own app.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Share Project Siena with students interested in computer coding. Have students modify sample apps to demonstrate an understanding of concepts. For example, modify the Bridge Tutor app to demonstrate how to conduct a science experiment or change the Health Cost Calculator to become an interactive tool for learning personal finance.

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Thimble - Mozilla

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6 to 12
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Thimble is an online tool for teaching HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and creating web pages. Start from scratch or choose a remix project as a learning tool. Each remix includes a ...more
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Thimble is an online tool for teaching HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and creating web pages. Start from scratch or choose a remix project as a learning tool. Each remix includes a tutorial with instructions about changing and personalizing content. When working on a creation Thimble offers a side-by-side view, one for the coding portion, the other showing the appearance and content as it shows on a web page. Choose to show desktop or mobile device appearance. Email registration is required to publish and save web pages to Mozilla Webmaker. Once created, users can copy and paste the HTML into any web page host.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), multimedia (57), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Use Thimble as an excellent tool for students to learn to code through simple projects. Thimble doesn't offer step-by-step directions, so it is more useful for students who love to explore and interact on their own. Have students use Thimble's Remixes to create comic book explanations of science concepts or social studies events. Use the Six Word Summer Teaching Toolkit as a great way to teach summarizing, and of course, this toolkit for summarizing will work for many other topics!

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Computing at School - Barefoot Computing

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K to 6
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Computing at School provides free resources for teaching computer skills. Create an account to access all resources. Although aligned with computing standards in Great Britain, topics...more
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Computing at School provides free resources for teaching computer skills. Create an account to access all resources. Although aligned with computing standards in Great Britain, topics and projects meet the needs of anyone teaching computing. Choose the resource link to find resources sorted by topic, teaching activities, and a category for teaching students with special needs.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), learning disability (15), logic (235), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free lessons available on Computing at School for use in your classroom. Most include a link to download the lesson and printables in PDF. Use the lessons to create and stock computer centers. Share activities on your class website for students to complete at home. Have students create blogs using Throwww, reviewed here, to document their learning and observations. Throwww enables you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only and to share your blog with a unique URL. Throwww is as easy to use as a basic Word program! Share the SEN resources with your resource teachers.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Flappy Code - Code Studio

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K to 12
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Create a Flappy Bird game using drag and drop code, then save it to your phone to play over and over! Follow the 10 step directions to add code to ...more
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Create a Flappy Bird game using drag and drop code, then save it to your phone to play over and over! Follow the 10 step directions to add code to your workspace as you make your bird fly toward a target, give directions for the end of game results, and edit actions and speed of the game. When finished, share games via URL or social networking links. The intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (47), game based learning (103), gamification (65), logic (235)

In the Classroom

Use Flappy Code as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class. Display Flappy Code on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you progress through the steps to code a game, then have students create and explore on their own. After school clubs and activities can use Flappy Code to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Try Computing - IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

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8 to 12
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Try Computing offers a wide variety of resources focused on computing and associated careers. Explore the site as a student, teacher, parent, or counselor to learn more about planning...more
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Try Computing offers a wide variety of resources focused on computing and associated careers. Explore the site as a student, teacher, parent, or counselor to learn more about planning a career path in computers. Student information includes career profiles and student opportunities to learn about different computer options. Choose the teacher link to find complete lesson plans, career profiles, and more. Some of the lesson plans use YouTube for videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): careers (132), computers (95), engineering (125)

In the Classroom

Include the Try Computing website when exploring career options with students, be sure to point it out to students with an interest in computers. Use the site to help students understand the various options available in computer careers and the education necessary for different roles. Have students create online posters detailing requirements of their chosen career using a tool such as PicFont, reviewed here, or Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here. Alternatively, have students create an infographic showing the steps needed to advance to a career in computers. Use an infographic tool such as Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Piktochart, reviewed here.

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SparkFun Tutorials - SparkFun Electronics

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8 to 12
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SparkFun tutorials teach the basics (and beyond) of electronics. Over 400 tutorials include topics such as computers, circuits, and wearable technology. Browse through the list of tutorials,...more
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SparkFun tutorials teach the basics (and beyond) of electronics. Over 400 tutorials include topics such as computers, circuits, and wearable technology. Browse through the list of tutorials, or choose topics by tags to find specific content. Each tutorial includes complete instructions as well as suggested reading lists to help fully develop the understanding of concepts used. Most projects require several different materials, be sure to check each tutorial's supply list before starting any project. Many projects have an intro video that resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): circuits (20), computers (95), electricity (89), engineering (125), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Share SparkFun Tutorials with students competing in electronics or computer competition. Use tutorials as guides for projects in Makerspace classrooms or with after-school clubs. SparkFun Tutorials are the perfect challenge for gifted students. Encourage them to choose projects of interest either individually or as a group to complete as a "self-directed" lesson. Share the Wearables or Pokemon Go projects with students to show them this can also be for creating a fashion statement or patches for caps, backpacks, tee shirts and more. Be sure to photograph finished products for next year's students to view. Challenge students to create an "explainer" video tutorial for their project using Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, and then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Code School - Code School LLC

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5 to 12
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The Code School free account provides access to 10 introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free offerings....more
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The Code School free account provides access to 10 introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free offerings. Courses offer several levels of training including videos and challenges. Earn digital badges as you complete each course.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), engineering (125), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. Courses are self-paced, so differentiation is easy. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Since registration is via email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Dash - General Assembly

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4 to 12
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs ...more
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs game. Choose your project, then follow prompts in each accompanying slide show to add coding and receive feedback. Dash also highlights skills learned to view progress throughout tutorials. Click on any learned skill for a quick review lesson. The one-minute intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use Dash to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered the math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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Vidcode - vidcode.io

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5 to 12
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Vidcode provides beginner project tutorials for learning to code through projects designed to match teens' interests, specifically for teen girls. Although designed for girls, all students...more
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Vidcode provides beginner project tutorials for learning to code through projects designed to match teens' interests, specifically for teen girls. Although designed for girls, all students will benefit from the projects available on the site. Free projects include topics such as Make Your Own Filter, Make a Stop Motion, and Doodle SFX: Magic. Follow the step by step directions to drag and drop code to create and share projects. The best way to find the free projects is to click the Pricing link at the top of the homepage, then select "Start Coding" under the free column to view and access the free projects. Use email, Google, or Microsoft 365 to register. Once finished with the project, share it using the URL provided. A short intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): coding (47), critical thinking (108), engineering (125), images (266), multimedia (57), problem solving (272), STEM (134), video (254)

In the Classroom

Create a coding center in your classroom using Vidcode. Encourage students to use the tutorials to create projects to include with any multimedia presentation. Have students make their multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools, reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and theLearnia. Use Vidcode projects as part of any after-school or recess/lunch coding club activity.

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Cardboard2Code - CBIS Education

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4 to 12
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Cardboard2Code offers three free modules to learn computer programming tasks. Module topics include creating a cardboard robot arm, a virtual robot arm using Scratch, reviewed...more
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Cardboard2Code offers three free modules to learn computer programming tasks. Module topics include creating a cardboard robot arm, a virtual robot arm using Scratch, reviewed here, and using Python to control a robot arm. Enter your name and email to access each module. This site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. There is a short introductory video that resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), engineering (125), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Cardboard2Code would be perfect for use as an independent or group learning station. Share these modules with students interested in learning to code. Include a link on your class website to the modules for students to complete at home. Locate a volunteer with coding skills to work with your class to complete modules.
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Code the Future - Code the Future Ltd.

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K to 12
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Code the Future connects local volunteer developers to educators as an initiative to teach coding to students. Register your class project on the site to be linked to a volunteer ...more
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Code the Future connects local volunteer developers to educators as an initiative to teach coding to students. Register your class project on the site to be linked to a volunteer in your community.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), engineering (125), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

At the time of this review, there were very few volunteers available in the United States. Use the site to find ideas for coding projects, then reach out to your local community to find available volunteers to help you and your students reach your goal.

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Google CS First - Google

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5 to 9
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in ...more
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in the U.S. Materials offer lessons based on themes such as storytelling, sports, social media, friends, and fashion and design. In addition to lesson materials, Google CS provides online training information for club leaders.

tag(s): animation (63), coding (47), critical thinking (108), digital storytelling (144), gamification (65), musical notation (35), problem solving (272), social media (16), sports (97), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Create a club in your classroom as part of your STEM activities, as a lunch/recess club, or an at-home activity for students. Use the flyers and presentation materials provided to create interest in the club. Differentiate clubs by student interests and abilities. Share Google CS First with your school's media or tech leader as an excellent resource for teaching coding. This site is perfect for those who want to learn more about coding, but have some hesitancy since all materials from creating a group through the lessons are free. If you still have some doubts, enlist the services of a tech-savvy high school student to help with activities as part of their volunteering requirements.

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W3 Schools Online Web Tutorials - W3 Schools

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4 to 12
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W3 Schools offers online tutorials for learning different forms of computer coding, from beginner level through advanced concepts. Choose from available categories to begin, then follow...more
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W3 Schools offers online tutorials for learning different forms of computer coding, from beginner level through advanced concepts. Choose from available categories to begin, then follow the tutorials including online examples to edit. Take quizzes to test your skills. Experienced coders will appreciate the reference guides included on the site containing common tags and terms used.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), gamification (65), logic (235), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use these tutorials to provide coding instruction for students at all ability levels. Make coding part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Include it in the context of the scientific method or discussions about careers in science. You may even want to portray coding as just another "world language" in today's world. If you are looking for more ways to use coding in the classroom, check out TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom page.

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Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation - Kahn Academy

Grades
6 to 12
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In this Kahn Academy interactive online course, participants learn the basics of the JavaScript language to draw images and animations and beyond. Select from the Contents menu on the...more
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In this Kahn Academy interactive online course, participants learn the basics of the JavaScript language to draw images and animations and beyond. Select from the Contents menu on the left, or scroll down the page. Lessons are taught using short videos. Many videos have an interactive transcript and an error checker to assist you if you make a mistake. Use the provided links to videos hosted on YouTube. After viewing the explanation or a concept, try the practice sessions. Work through the seventeen modules with multiple lessons to earn badges. Many of the videos include real-time student questions and replies, Tips, Thanks, and Spin-Offs. The New Program space encourages the creation of original JavaScript programs. To save progress and keep track of projects, create an account by signing up using Gmail, Facebook or any email. Identify yourself if you are teacher or parent. Documentation, in both text and video format, includes information on JS basics. Help is available in a community forum format which students may access. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animation (63), coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

The course is self-paced, so differentiation is easy. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's tech-filled world and will be a valuable skill in the job market. Compare coding to just another "world language." Put a link to this tool on a class website, blog, or wiki. Look for more ways to use coding in the classroom on the TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom page, here. Make JS part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Besides the intrinsic factors that come with learning to code, students will be motivated by badges. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a classroom center, or in a lab setting.

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OK2Ask: Coding with Kids - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from November 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Discover the world of coding with your students. Begin by learning how...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from November 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Discover the world of coding with your students. Begin by learning how to introduce students to the world of coding and computer programming. Learn about computational thinking skills and how it develops logical thinking. Continue with a hands on activity to activate concrete understanding of programming. Explore three different sites that use visual coding to develop programming skills. By the end of this session, you will be well on your way to begin the journey in learning and teaching computer programming. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Understand what is coding and how aspects of it can be used in the classroom; (2) Explore resources to introduce coding and game design into the classroom including unplugged activities; (3) Envision the use of free tools for use in Coding in the classroom; and (4) Learn reasons for integrating coding in the classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

tag(s): coding (47)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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FreeCodeCamp - Quincy Larson

Grades
9 to 12
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FreeCodeCamp offers self-paced training in coding, followed by practice building projects for non-profit sources. The site includes 100's of challenges featuring many different types...more
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FreeCodeCamp offers self-paced training in coding, followed by practice building projects for non-profit sources. The site includes 100's of challenges featuring many different types of coding programs. Participate in FreeCodeCamp's curriculum to earn up to four standardized certifications in software development recognized by technology employers. Chat rooms provide assistance and support to participants working through certifications. FreeCodeCamp provides assistance in obtaining employment to users who complete certifications on the site.

tag(s): careers (132), coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Browse through the menu of activities in each of the certifications to find lessons for stand-alone topics such as adding images to websites or working with different HTML features. Sign up isn't necessary to view lessons, only to save progress when working through certifications. Share FreeCodeCamp with students who have an interest in coding and computers. Encourage students to complete certifications to include with college applications. Share with students who may not have an interest in college, but have an interest in computers, coding, and gaming.

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