20 Sites/Apps for Learning how to Program or Code

9/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
There is no denying the popularity of computers and technology in schools.  More and more students are integrating technology into their everyday lives and learning new skills at a younger age.  Programs such as Project Lead the Way, Gen-Y, and now mobile devices help facilitate these skills with innovative technology tools.  Computer Programming is another one of these topics that is being covered more and more in school and a great way to integrate technology into the classroom.  This list is in alphabetical order.


  1. ClassTools - A wonderful site for educators with lots of different resources.  A user can use a template or game generator to create customized educational games and then embed into their site/blog.
  2. Code Avengers - A great site for teachers wanting their students to learn how to code games, websites (Javascript), or apps.
  3. Code Monster - A fantastic very user friendly site that has students learn how to program Javascript by practicing in a side-by-side window and watching what happens as they type in commands.
  4. Codecademy - A interactive site that helps students learn how to program in Javascript,  PHP, Ruby, or Python by step by step instructions.
  5. CodePlayer - A nice site to learn HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript through video walkthroughs.
  6. CodeSpells - A innovative app that teaches students how to code in Java by casting spells in a 3D virtual world.
  7. Daisy the Dinosaur - A fun iPad app that teaches kids how to program and animate by dragging blocks together and watching Daisy preform the action.
  8. GamePress - One of my son's favorite iPad apps that allows users to create games.  This app is ideal for learning the basics of programming by providing graphics, commands, logic and more.
  9. Gamestar Mechanic - A nice site for teachers wanting to teach their students how to program games.  This is done by reinforcing skills such as problem solving, writing, storytelling, and more.
  10. Google Blockly - A visual programmer editor that reminds me of Scratch in which a user has to drag-n-drop blocks together to create an action.
  11. Hopscotch - A wonderful iOS app that teaches kids how to program and create animations by dragging-n-dropping blocks together.
  12. Kodable - A fun iPad app designed for younger kids that has them controlling fuzzballs to complete each level.  Each level deals with a simple concept of programming and gets more advanced as they get higher.
  13. LearnStreet - a cool site for learning how to program Javascript, Python, or Ruby.
  14. MIT App Inventor - A wonderful site filled with lots of educational resources for teaching students how to program mobile apps.
  15. Programmr - A nice way to learn programming by solving coding exercises.
  16. Quest - An innovative site/app for creating text based games that will show/hide the programming language while it is being worked on.
  17. Scratch - Probably the most popular site on the list as 1000's of students have created online games through their very easy to use web interface.
  18. Stencyl - A wonderful site for creating iOS or Flash based games by putting blocks together (i.e. Scratch).
  19. Storytelling Alice - One of my favorite apps (Windows) on the list for learning how to program.  While this free app is no longer supported it is still available for download.
  20. Tynker - A great site for students 4th-8th grade learning how to program.

David Kapuler is an educational consultant with more than 10 years of experience working in the K-12 environment. For more information about his work, contact him at dkapuler@gmail.com and read his blog at cyber-kap.blogspot.com

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