A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Code.org offers step-by-step instruction to help kids learn how coding works. The site provides encouragement after portions of a lesson are completed, including listing how many lines of code they've written up to that point. Kids can view, but can't comment on other users' creations, which helps prevent any negative discourse. Kids can also access some of the hands-on learning without logging in. To save anything what they create, though, they'll need to be a registered user.
What's it about?
On CODE.ORG, kids can learn about a variety of computer science concepts, ranging from fundamental principles to algorithms, nested loops, conditionals, and functions. They'll be able to create art, stories, and games using the functionality and see how small coding steps add up to programming an action to occur. Seeing other kids' projects can help users understand coding applications. Kids use logic and strategic thinking and are asked to deduce the next step, and they can try again if they make a mistake. Overall, the site offers instructions that can help kids grasp the what's involved in creating apps and other items.
Is it any good?
Users are sometimes encouraged to try to do things first without utilizing additional instruction that's offered, which may help them become more confident about their coding skills. They can also track what lessons they've completed in an online chart. The educational offerings for older kids seem to be a bit more practical -- while the pre-reader instruction can take just a minute to watch, and kids can replay earlier steps if they missed something, there seems to be a fair amount of reading involved in some lessons. Younger users may need an adult's help to navigate them as a result, but they should enjoy being able drag and drop items to make characters move. If older kids don't want to invest the time to finish an entire course, the site's Hour of Code tutorials offer lessons and exercises they can complete in 60 minutes -- including fun activities like coding animals to dance to songs by Katy Perry, Coldplay, and other artists. If your kid is interested in programming in any way, Code.org could be a great resource to unlocking their coding potential.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about careers coding can be used in. Are there any jobs your child might be interested in that involve computer science?
Code.org teaches people how to code by breaking it down into small steps, but how can that approach help kids tackle other challenges?
How does taking classes online compare to learning subjects from someone in person? Which works better for your child, and why?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading
Math: functions, grouping, patterns
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, deduction, logic, part-whole relationships, strategy, thinking critically
Self-Direction: initiative, personal growth
- Genre: Educational
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: August 14, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love programming
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.