The Hour of Code message:
Computer science opens more doors for students than any other discipline in today’s world. Learning even the basics will help students in virtually any career from architecture to zoology. Just as we teach students how to dissect a frog, or how electricity works, it’s important for every 21st century student to have a chance to “dissect an app,” or learn how the Internet works.
Tynker- Teach programming in elementary or middle school in a fun way.
Scratch- Allows students to program animations, games, and videos through a visual interface. Students create their programs by dragging together blocks that represent movements and functions on their screens. The blocks snap together to help students see how the "if, then" logic of programming works.
Snap is a drag-and-drop programming interface designed to help students learn to program. Snap uses a visual interface that works in your browser, on your laptop, as well as on your iPad. To design a program in Snap, drag commands into a sequence in the scripts panel.
TouchDevelop is a great platform through which students can learn to program simple animations and games. On TouchDevelop, students program a series of actions by entering sequences of commands such as "move forward" and "turn right" that are carried out on the screen by a chosen figure such as a turtle.
Hopscotch looks a lot like Scratch and Tynker and uses similar controls to drag blocks into a workspace, but it only runs on the iPad. Hopscotch is a great tool to begin helping children, without coding experience, learn the basics of programming, logical thinking and problem-solving.
Daisy the Dinosaur
From the makers of Hopscotch, Daisy targets the youngest coders. The interface is similar to Hopscotch but much simpler. There is only a dinosaur to move and only basic functions to use, but for your younger children, this is an excellent introduction to programming.
Cargo-Bot is another game that teaches coding skills. On each level, the objective is to move colored crates from one place to another by programming a claw crane to move left or right, drop or pick up.
Have fun coding!