Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom
Resources mentioned in Chapter 9 – Programming
Code Club – A worldwide network of free, volunteer-led coding clubs for youth ages 9-13. Over 10,000 clubs in 134 countries help children learn Scratch, HTML & CSS, and Python.
Coder Dojo – School and community coding clubs for elementary to middle school students in over 107 countries. Coder Dojo helps local volunteers start these free programming clubs with resources and a supportive community.
Turtlestitch – A version of Snap! that outputs files for embroidery machines.
Snap4Arduino – Snap4Arduino is a modification of the Snap! visual programming language that lets you seamlessly interact with almost all versions of the Arduino board.
iForge Genesis – A free browser-based block language to program Arduinos. There is also an iOS app as well.
Microsoft MakeCode – A free block-based programming language for a growing list of microcontrollers. MakeCode runs in the browser with a simulator showing your hardware device. The website has tutorials and project ideas.
MicroBlocks – A visual programming language that runs directly on various microcontrollers.
Code.org – This non-profit foundation is dedicated to growing computer programming education and is the home of “Hour of Code.”
Scratch – Free block-based programming language for simple storytelling and games. Works in a browser or offline. Materials and videos for educators and classrooms.
Scratch Jr. – A free version of Scratch for early learners (age 5-7) that runs on tablets and Chromebooks.
ScratchED web site – An online community and resources for educators who teach with Scratch.
LEGO WeDo programming in Scratch – Scratch also may be used to program LEGO’s early childhood robotics set called WeDo. Plug the LEGO WeDo 2.0 into your computer and new blocks appear for robotics control in Scratch.
Snap! – Scratch with first-class objects added to make more complex programming projects possible.
Turtle Art – A simple yet elegant variation of Logo with an iconic interface intended to create beautiful images.
Turtle Blocks – A variation of Turtle Art developed for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project that runs on Chromebooks.
Tickle – An iOS block-based programming environment with a lot of Scratch functionality that can control many popular Bluetooth robotics toys and drones. The basic app is free, but you need to pay a few dollars to add functionality for some devices.
Droneblocks – A free block-based programming environment for iOS, Android, and Chrome that allows users to program a variety of popular DJI drones from toys to prosumer models.
TaleBlazer – A free block-based programming language for creating location-based augmented reality games.
StarLogo TNG – StarLogoTNG (The Next Generation) is a downloadable programming environment that lets students and teachers create 3D games and simulations of complex systems.
StarLogo Nova – StarLogo Nova builds on StarLogo TNG and brings it to the browser.
NetLogo – NetLogo focuses on mathematical explorations and scientific simulations that may be run on computers across the globe.
GP – GP is a free, “general purpose” block-based programming language that runs on most computers and web browsers. GP draws on ideas from Scratch, Squeak, and Snap! and can be used for simulations, media manipulation, cloud-computing, and teaching computer science.
Python – Python is an easy to learn, flexible programming language. Find resources, documentation, stories, and community on the website.
MIT App Inventor – Create apps and games for Android devices with this visual programming environment. Code samples, tutorials, and extensive educator resources are on the MIT website.
Game Maker Studio – A commercial product used in many schools (mostly high schools) to teach programming through game design. It does have a free trial version that is usable, although the full versions are very reasonable. The website offers tutorials, sample games, and support.
Gamestar Mechanic – A commercial product designed to teach programming through game development. It offers education pricing, lessons, tutorials, and an educator community.
Wolfram Language – Comprehensive programming language with built-in computational intelligence.
Minecraft – 3D building sandbox popular with children worldwide.
Swift Playgrounds – An iPad-based programming environment capable of creating iOS apps, programming the LEGO EV3 robotics system, and other devices.
Squeak – Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects including multimedia applications, educational platforms, and commercial web application development. Scratch itself was created in Squeak.