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Top 5 Programming Tools for Kids

Top 5 Programming Tools for Kids

The Raspberry Pi has created a lot of interest in the press for its low cost and credit-card size. The main reason for the creation of the Raspberry Pi was to see it used by kids all across the globe to learn programming. Computer classes in the UK have been constrained by the national curriculum for ICT, with students having to limit their computing activities to learning applications such as Word and PowerPoint, and using the internet to help with their school work. However, learning how to use Microsoft Office is often of little or no interest to students. Students are motivated by interactive activities such as programming, as they like to make things to find out how they work.

The art of programming is often perceived as being a difficult activity. This is, in part, because coding can be quite unforgiving with lots of information to remember. It is not a simple activity such as surfing the net, or formatting paragraph text.

Fortunately, there is a growing range of software, often open source, that helps students learn how to code. Stripping away the complexity, the programming languages and associated tools featured in this article aim to create new ways of helping students create projects that appeal to younger minds.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 5 high quality programming tools that provide an ideal introduction to programming. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for teachers and students alike.

Now, let's explore the 5 programming tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Programming Tools for Kids
Scratch Easy to use programming environment for ages 8 and up
Hackety Hack Coder's starter kit
Processing Language and environment for creating images, animation, and interactions
Alice Innovative 3D programming environment
Greenfoot Simple but powerful Java IDE

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Last Updated Sunday, April 27 2014 @ 10:53 AM EDT


We have written a range of guides highlighting excellent free books for popular programming languages. Check out the following guides: C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, HTML, Python, Ruby, Perl, Haskell, PHP, Lisp, R, Prolog, Scala, Scheme, Forth, SQL, Node.js (new), Fortran (new), Erlang (new), Pascal (new), and Ada (new).


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