Coding is a great skill for kids to pick up and can help them develop analytical and problem-solving skills. My twelve-year-old sister recently tried her hands at a free website that teaches coding for kids (not specifically, but the courses are structured in a clear and easy manner so kids can do them too). Here’s her review of the website, Codecademy.
What is Codecademy
Codecademy is an online academy that teaches coding for kids for free. They provide lessons and courses made by developers and other users for you to complete and learn coding skills. They have courses on HTML, CSS, game programming and many others that kids can learn.
Creating an account at Codecademy
Once you are on Codecademy, the first time is to create an account. On the top right hand side of your screen, you should be able to see the Create Account button. Click on it, and you can register an account either using your e-mail or with different social networks such as Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
Coding courses on Codecademy
Once you have signed up, you will be at the front page. There should be a box with text that allows you to type in what the instructions tell you to.
After you have completed all the instructions in the box, it will congratulate you for completing your first lesson. There will be a button that says ‘Keep Going’. Click on it, and it will lead you to the courses it has. If it doesn’t and redirects you back to the homepage, click on ‘Learn’ at the bar on the top of the website to view the courses.
There are a series of 8 courses grouped to help you master a certain topic.
- Web Fundamentals
What are these eight courses all about?
In the lessons provided in Web Fundamentals, you will learn about HTML, CSS and style and design. Additionally, you will also be taught how to create a basic website.
PHP, also known as Hypertext Preprocessor, is the most popular scripting language in the world. The lessons in PHP will teach you how to develop a website with dynamic web pages. However, the course is still in progress as it is new, so there is only one lesson at the moment.
The Python course teaches you all about programming.
Ruby is a popular programming language that helps powerful websites all over the world. In this course, you will learn about the ruby fundamentals, beautiful arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in HTML and rapid prototyping.
APIs will teach you how to write codes that can do almost anything and you will learn how to pull in outside data, send messages and have more powerful apps.
There are more courses for you to do after you have done all eight of them. You can simply scroll down to the bottom of the Course page and try out more courses.
When you have completed a course, you can rate it and give some feedback for it to the creator of the course. And as the saying, “Practice makes perfect” goes, you can even re-do the course again for you to practice the skills that you have learnt until you decide that you have mastered the course.
Creating your own courses
If you have completed all of the courses that the site offers, you can even create your own courses simply by clicking on the ‘Teach’ button at the top of the site. You can choose a topic that you want to write the course on, and you can even collaborate on a course with another user on Codecademy. When you have published your course, you may even receive feedback from the users who have completed the course you have made.
My thoughts on Codecademy
It is a good website for you to learn about coding as the instructions are clear. If you were stuck at a certain part of a course, you could go to the forums and ask questions. Other users who are in the forums are very helpful and nice, and they are willing to help anyone who needs help in completing a certain course.
The website provides feedback and awards badges when you complete their exercises. This motivates me to do more courses and go onto the site daily. When you make a mistake while trying to complete a course, instead of simply stating that you have an error, encouragement or feedback are given to help you get through the course. Usually, I would be frustrated and quit if I got an alert that told me I made a mistake repeatedly. However, the encouragement given made me persist and try again until I completed the course.
Most of the courses are enjoyable, too. You get to try designing a web page by applying all the basic coding knowledge that you have learnt in the past few lessons. Once you have completed the course, you will find it easy to create a simple webpage on your own.
The design of the website is simple and plain. The “Get started” button can be spotted easily as it is large and green. The website is mainly in white, blue, black and grey. It is simple to look at as the colours fit each other. I like the way it is designed as it is not so complicated and you can navigate around the site easily.
There seems to be a glitch where after you complete the example course on the front page, instead of being directed to the page where you can participate in more courses, it will redirect you back to the front page.
I would recommend Codecademy to anyone who is interested in learning how to code since this website has helped me a lot. The lessons were fun and I am sure anyone who wants to learn how to code, especially kids, will enjoy them too.