Learn To Program Using These Resources
Programming & Education Resources
Coding and programming are a large part of the modern world, with the growth of digital tech and app development. At one time, there were a select few that understood the complex tools involved. Now, online courses provide a new educational tool for anyone. There are many organizations and academic institutions offering their learning tools.
Some aim to help people progress in difficult areas of the science. Others are more basic and accessible as an entry point. As a result, newcomers and children can now get a head start on an education in coding through free, accessible means. The following courses and program providers are some of the best options currently available. They highlight the range of aims, courses, and approaches.
MIT Open Courseware
MIT may be one of the best places to turn for those looking for a formal education in coding and programming. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a hub of knowledge on all things technical. The Open Courseware (OCW) branch is a great starting point for anyone keen on learning more, but unable to commit to a full qualification.
Here there is a catalog of materials from 2340 of MITs courses. These materials are online for public use, with the aim of aiding independent learners and researcher across the world. At the moment, their undergraduate Introduction to Computer Science and Programming course is the second most visited.
MIT App Inventor
Another great option from MIT is their App Inventor program. This global scheme is continually developing to welcome users of all ages and nationalities. It was set up as something of a beginner’s guide to a more visual, accessible approach to programming education. Here users can use drag and drop blocks to understand the basics of coding.
The aim here is to expand the reach of coding training to a younger audience. There is also the benefit of a community of app inventors and their shared ideas and projects. In 2015 over 100,000 weekly users were creating more than 7 million Android apps.
The next option in this list of educational resources for programming is another brainchild of MIT. This time is the Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group that are at the helm. As this suggests, this means another program for a young audience ready to begin learning about code and technology.
This program lets users create interactive media online. Not only does this mean necessary technological tools, but also skills in creative thinking and team building. Scratch is easily implemented in schools, homes and other educational centers like libraries and museums.
Moving away from MIT, we come to another leading technological figure and their attempts to encourage those learning to code. Google’s Python class is part of the Google for Education system. While the App Inventor and Scratch programs have a beginner-friendly feel, this is for older users.
This free system is a learning tool for those that have a basic understanding of how programming works. It takes basic concepts from this foundation level and expands upon them. This is a two-day class full of helpful information for those committed to learning more.
Block is another option available from the Google for Education system. In fact, without Blockly, we wouldn’t have some of the options above. A whole host of programs is now implementing Block to create better apps. This includes the MIT App Inventor.
Block is essentially a library of tools that acts an editor for current coding projects. It helps new developers to create code for games and robotics with great potential for customization. There is also the chance to add it to a browser for direct support for the visual code.
There are of course many other opportunities for an education in programming and code. Some have a niche focus, and others are more general. Their tagline is “teaching the world how to code,” but there is more to it than that. Codecademy is actively committed to furthering the education of both its users and teachers.
They want to create a revolution in learning and engage with people on a new level. The root of this is the range of courses in program development and code. There are specialist modules on learning about different programs, like Java and Python, and in creating websites and other tools.
Code for America
Code for America is the coding organization focused on improving the way that people interact with local government. They understand the importance of providing reliable digital platforms where government agencies can talk about policies and services. That means informed technology choices, an understanding of the public’s needs and an open, accessible network.
Those that are keen to join in and learn about programming while improving digital technology are keenly welcomed. There are opportunities to adhere to the fellowship, work with them as a volunteer or simply attend summits. This is a great tool to improve knowledge and better lives.
Another interesting government-based tool in the Sunlight Academy. This set-up is not so heavily focused on coding and programming, but on a more general education in modern technology. Here participants can log into the system and find a series of tools to help them work with government data.
The main audience here is journalists, researchers, students and even activists. It is about making this government data accessible while developing skills. Highlights for users include the progress tracking profiles and video tutorials. It is accessible and nicely presented for newcomers to work at their pace.
Finally, we have CodingBat, a program created by a leading lecturer in computer science at Stanford. This free site provides resources in many areas of coding and programming. The focus here is the idea that the better-equipped student is with, the smaller building blocks, the better they are with bigger problems.
Here students can learn the fundamentals through smaller problems to use them in bigger projects. The process of work and reward may be simple, but it might be a good aid for those struggling with intermediate studies.