IT lessons online: Homeschool Computing Resources

Resources // 13th May 2020

Need a resource to replace your kids IT Computing lessons, try kids IT lessons online!

The situation around the past few months has left a lot of us in a rather unusual situation! Many of us are continuing our full time-jobs whilst juggling homeschool life for the kids. Well, to help, we’ve written this short article to save you some time in sourcing the best materials to teach your kids IT lessons online.

Coding for kids is a big deal right now. Worldwide, 36 million kids have taken part in “Hour of code” activities, helping them become active, rather than passive users of technology. Learning IT lessons online today might one day help secure a job in our increasingly tech-driven world.

Even if your kids don’t go on to code for a living, a basic understanding of computer science and programming concepts will help improve their problem-solving and thinking skills. Both of these skills are transferable and certainly empowering. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates says that: “Learning to write programs stretches your mind and helps you think better, it creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.“

Entry-level platforms like Scratch and Alice allow children (and adults) to create their own games and animations.  But not all kids can or want to jump straight into these sorts of environments. For them, there are plenty of ‘gamified’ applications that will teach the basics of programming in a fun and easily accessible way. Whilst the kids think they’re just playing a game, they’re actually learning to develop software!

Below is our list of resources we’d recommend in helping homeschool your kids in for IT.

Kids IT Lessons Online: Gamified

Below are 5 website/apps, these resources will help replace traditional kids IT lessons with the games they crave to homeschool your children:

1. Code Combat

Who it’s for: Ages 13+ (or younger with guidance/consent)
Platforms: Web browsers
Pricing: Free
Find out more: Code Combat website

Description: CodeCombat is an educational video game for learning software programming concepts and languages. Students learn to type coding languages like JavaScript, Python, HTML and CoffeeScript, as well as learning the fundamentals of computer science. Since the founding of CodeCombat, it has become a community projectwith hundreds of players volunteering to create levels, contribute to the codebase, fix bugs, playtest, and even translate the game into 50 languages. Your kids (or yourself) can work through single-player levels in this fantasy-themed game, then unleash your new-found coding skills on other players.


 

2. Lightbot and Lightbot Jr.

it lessons online

Who it’s for: Ages 4-8 (Lightbot Jr.), 9+ (Lightbot)
Platforms: Web browsers, iOS, Android
Pricing: Free (iOS/Android)
Find out more: App StoreGoogle Play

Description: LightBot was designed with first-time coders. It’s been played by over 20 million kids and has been used by tens of thousands of teachers worldwide.

Get kids hooked on coding within minutes!

Lightbot is a programming puzzle game – a game whose game mechanics require using programming logic to solve levels. Simply guiding a robot to light up tiles and solve levels using commands, Lightbot cultivates a real understanding of procedures, loops, and conditionals. Educators around the world are choosing to use Lightbot first when introducing their students to programming, coding, and Computer Science. Lightbot features 50 levels and 20 challenge stars to collect and is a must-have for puzzle enthusiasts.

 


 

3. Kodable

it lessons online

Who it’s for: Ages 5-8
Platforms: iOS
Pricing: Free ($7 for the Pro version)
Find out more: Kodable websiteApp Store

Description: Kodable teaches kids to code at home or at school with fun games and gives teachers a complete K-5 coding curriculum for the classroom.

Watch as your child explores the universe of coding with their new friends – the fuzzFamily! Kodable lets your kids play and create their own games, and features content suitable for all age levels. Explore the technomazes of Smeeborg, the asteroid fields of Asteroidia, and the slime-infested plains of Bug World while learning important computer science concepts.

Kodable is features age-appropriate games and activities that transition your kids from learning how to think like a programmer all the way to writing real code using our custom, built-for-kids coding interface!

Concepts learned through the Kodable include:

  • Sequence/ Order of operations
  • Algorithmic operations
  • Conditional logic statements
  • Syntax
  • Variables including Strings, Integers, and Arrays
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Classes and Subclasses
  • Properties
  • Methods

 

4. Cargo-Bot

IT lessons online

Who it’s for: 5+ to adults
Platforms: iOS
Pricing: Free
Find out more: App Store

Description: Cargo-Bot was the first game programmed entirely on an iPad. It’s accessible for kids as young as five on its easiest levels, but it offers a real challenge as it progresses.

Cargo-Bot, an addictive game that teaches you programming concepts. Give instructions to a robot arm that moves crates to the right place. Have full control in over 30 tricky levels. Experience a whole new level of thinking.

 


 

5. Hopster Coding Safari for Kids

Who it’s for: 4+ to adults
Platforms: iOS
Pricing: Free
Find out more: App Store

Description:

This game will engage young children in computational thinking – the fundamental techniques needed to understand coding – without them realising they are learning. It will also ignite their passion for puzzles and problem-solving – all while playing a fun game with animals. It could be the Tiger that needs to get back to her den, the Penguin trying to return to its Antarctic Ice Hole, the hungry Monkey desperate to get to the banana tree, or one of the other animals in this app – here, play is at the heart of learning to code.

The tasks in Hopster Coding Safari become increasingly complex to resolve, and completing them gently guides your child through the four fundamental techniques of computational thinking:

  • Decomposition
  • Pattern recognition
  • Abstraction
  • Algorithms

These are the basic techniques children need in order to learn how to code. So our game doesn’t teach any specific programming languages but gives young children these foundations from which they will build on and learn to code.

 


 

Kids IT Lessons Online: All Ages

Below are a number of website resources to help homeschool your children online:

BBC Bitesize

it lessons online

Who it’s for: All Ages
Platforms: Web browsers, iOS, Android
Pricing: Free
Find out more: Here

Description: Bitesize is the BBC’s free online study support resource for school-age pupils in the United Kingdom. It is designed to aid pupils in both schoolwork and, for older pupils, exams.


 

Code Monkey

Who it’s for: All Ages
Platforms: Web browsers, iOS, Android
Pricing: $4.95 – $9.95
Find out more: Here

Description: CodeMonkey is a leading coding for kids program. Through its award-winning courses, millions of students learn how to code in real programming languages. CodeMonkey offers an engaging and enjoyable curriculum for schools, after-school clubs and camps as well as self-paced online courses to learn coding at home.

 


 

Oak National Academy

online it lessons

Who it’s for: All Ages
Platforms: Web browsers, iOS, Android
Pricing: Free
Find out more: Here

Description: Oak National Academy is our contribution. It has been built by more than 80 state school teachers and organisations across the sector, working together. Our aim is to support teachers to support their pupils.

Nothing can replace the unique relationships between teachers and their pupils. But we hope our bank of high-quality IT lessons online and resources can help support remote teaching.

We’ll cover a range of subjects including maths, English, art and languages. Teachers can use these to complement their own lesson planning and teaching until schools fully re-open. Parents can access our resources to support home learning, as guided by their child’s school. Every lesson will be free to use for every teacher and every pupil.

We built Oak National Academy at speed, and have now expanded to include a specialist curriculum. This is our initial offer, but we want to do more. It doesn’t yet cover the full range on offer in schools in normal times. And it doesn’t yet cater to the full range of pupils who attend specialist settings. We intend to develop our curriculum in the coming weeks and add content as we can. We’re also looking to expand our offer in KS4.

 


 

Parents!

Are you already a developer interested in learning a new language? We published an article similar to this one which might just help you > Develop software and build applications in lockdown