Teaching Kids to Code

There are many online resource guides for educators interested in coding, ranging from basic courses for the rookie coder to curricula for teachers who want to integrate computer science principles into other subject areas like humanities or art. Below, find a few of the best, including resources from Code.org which offers free training for teachers from all grade levels, including a national network of in-person local workshops.


Code.org is a national nonprofit founded by tech entrepreneur Hadi Partovi that promotes access to coding education for everyone. The organization offers free in-person workshops for K–12 educators, as well as online training and tutorials.

The courses for K–5 teachers take six to eight hours to complete and provide a curriculum guide and lesson plans. Educators learn how to teach computer science fundamentals as a stand-alone course or ways to integrate coding instruction into other disciplines. There is no cost for attendance.

Middle and high school educators can attend summer workshops and follow up with in-person sessions throughout the year. The courses are free, and scholarships are available to cover travel expenses. Search the map for courses near you or contact a regional partner for upcoming opportunities.

No prior experience is required for any of the Code.org programs. According to founder Hadi Partovi, teachers do not need prior knowledge of math or computer programming. The programs are designed for any educator who wants to learn more about coding instruction.

Code.org also offers Hour of Code, an initiative that provides one-hour, self-guided tutorials educators can use to give students exposure to coding. The tutorials are free and available for any grade level. Nationally, Hour of Code is held during Computer Science Education week in early December, but teachers can access the materials and lead the activity anytime throughout the year. Edutopia has a guide that offers suggestions on how to make the most of Hour of Code.

Other Resources

The ScratchEd program, developed by Harvard education researchers, is a free, downloadable guide for K–12 teachers to instruct students in creative computing. The seven-unit curriculum is designed to guide students through the development of interactive media projects.

CodeCombat is a program that uses gaming to teach coding. The game-based program encourages students aged 9 and up to learn coding through exploration. The program offers a free one- to three-hour introductory course and a resource hub for educators.

For high school teachers interested in developing an AP Computer Science course, Mobile CSP offers a curriculum for students to learn programming while developing a mobile app. The free course is available online.

For a comprehensive list of resources, check out Code.org’s lengthy list of in-person and online programs.

Source: Edutopia