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Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens

From Alice to Vidcode - the best free coding apps for tweens and teens

Engage students in your classroom with these free coding apps and websites. These tools can be used during Teen Tech Week, Computer Science Education Week's suggested Hour of Code, and beyond, giving students an intro to computer programming.
Grades:
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Type:
Teaching Strategies:
Vidcode
Vidcode
Vidcode is an award-winning coding platform and curriculum built around the things students love to do! Vidcode provides an complete computer programming curriculum for 3rd to 12th grade, focused on creative coding, design thinking, and practical cross-disciplinary applications. Bite-sized tutorials are easy for non-technical teachers to implement, fun for students to code, and data-driven for analysis of student outcomes. Whatever students love, Vidcode can help them code it!
Alice
Alice

Alice is a desktop app developed by Carnegie Mellon. More advanced than other programming tools for kids, Alice teaches the fundamentals of programming in a 3D setting. This makes it ideal for teens. While working in the app, students can see the code behind the projects they create on the screen. Programming concepts are learned while students create animated movies and basic video games that they can then share on the internet. Note: Java runtime is needed for Alice.

App Inventor
App Inventor

App Inventor is a cloud-based tool maintained by MIT. Much like the popular coding app Scratch, App Inventor has drag-and-drop coding blocks. However, App Inventor includes all methods, functions, and coding elements that a student would need to create an Android app. This makes it ideal for middle school kids and up. Students can build apps right in their web browser. The website offers support, but there are no step-by-step instructions to guide students, another reason the tool is best for older students.

Codecademy
Codecademy

Codecademy is an interactive online tool that teaches coding fundamentals, Ruby, PHP, jQuery, Python, JavaScript, and more. The tool is set up on a split screen so students get to see the code and the changes as they happen at the same time. The sophistication and scope of this online tool makes it better suited for older students, middle grade and up.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy

Like Codecademy, Khan Academy Khan Academy is an interactive online tool better suited for middle grade students and above. Khan Academy teaches coding fundamentals using JavaScript and ProcessingJS. Students will learn how to create animation, games, and drawings through programming. They'll learn how to make web pages using HTML and CSS. Students can then share their creations with other students and learn from each other.

Next: Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids
Next: Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids
Need coding apps for younger students? Check out our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids!

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