Site URL: http://code.org/
Content: Code.org puts coding into the hands of younger learners via interlocking, color-coded blocks that carry out various computer science functions.
Design: Vibrant, fun and simple to navigate, this site makes it easy for users to find desired content—whether it’s a Bill Gates lecture on coding or instructions on writing your first computer program with the characters from Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies.
Review: Available in 20 languages, Code.org aims to bring coding into daily life all around the world. Users start in the “Learn an Hour of Code” section, which is the site’s main resource. With 20 puzzles in total, students not only gain coding skills through the dragging process, but also practice problem-solving skills. Much like a video game, each puzzle helps students view their progress and build upon learned skills.
Code.org also offers a 15- to 20-hour “K-8 Intro to Computer Science” course. View the stages of the course, along with key concepts learned, in the section “Beyond One Hour.” This covers everything an early coder needs to get started, expanding upon the concepts learned in the first hour.
This site also compiles other great tools and new-programmer tutorial sites, such as Tynker, LightBot and MIT’s Scratch. These resources cover building apps, games and Web sites with other programming languages. Code.org even features links to sites that help learners program using robots (e.g., Lego Mindstorms).
Bottom Line: Code.org is one of the best and fastest-growing free resources for young people looking to learn basic coding in a way that’s simple and fun.