The business community for the last decade have been calling out to education bodies to get into the “real world” and supply the workforce with the skilled labourers they need. Governments in Australia and other countries have finally recognised the problem and have made digital technologies, and STEM a focus in the curriculum (ACARA technologies Curriculum).
In Queensland Australia in 2016 it is mandatory for the State Schools to teach coding from Prep- Year 10. Following the UK and Finland who have set up coding as a compulsory part of schooling. Suddenly teachers in Primary schools and small schools without a specialist IT teacher are left with a serious issue their own skill shortage how to teach coding. Thankfully the community has stepped up and witnessed sponsorship, companies with enough money like Google and Microsoft offering free services, while others with a mission for all to learn, like Khan Academy and MIT, have also jumped on board offering wonderful programs that teachers can integrate into their curriculum.
So digital coding on a shoestring budget is available, as long as you the students can access a device!
Some Free online Coding Courses:
Learn Python with Google
Google Python Class
Has a number of programming lessons
Intro to Java Script
Intro to Html/CCS
Intro to SQL
Advanced Java Script: Games and Visualizations
Advanced Java Script: Natural Simulations
(Based on the Book by Daniel Shiffman, "The Nature of Code")
HTML/Java Script: Making Webpages interactive
HTML/Java Script: Making Webpages interactive with JQuery
Another great Khan Academy link is Meet the professionals, were you can see how programming skills can be used in the real world as they invited people from all around the world and the industry to introduce themselves to you.
Also Code Academy as the video shows above has great potential for equipping students for the future. With Java, Html, Git, Ruby, SQl and more, even videos to inspire the students from the real world. Real life professions through videos or professional links are important. Meeting the professionals who use coding in their jobs is one way to continue to inspire the students as they plod along the coding path, Remember those piano lessons! You need to see a great pianist to keep you practicing to be inspired for another day.
Simple Game Design
Game design. Using block programming helps younger students to use computational thinking. (Google has a free course for teachers on computational thinking)
MIT Scratch: Game making for the Grade 3-6 students a great introduction.
Scratch Jr for Ipads and Androids easy block coding for the little ones from Prep to Grade 3 ( My Grade three class loved it but want to manipulate the situation more. The fact that different students became experts and then were the go to person in the the class was great for their self esteem and the class.
If you have some other coding tools add some in the comment box below.