Code.org and Scratch are the 2 most popular platforms for young coders learning to code for the first time. They both focus on logic and computational thinking and are free to use.
Kids tend to prefer Scratch, teachers tend to prefer Code.org. We love both, and we’ll explain why here.
Both Code.org and Scratch are browser-based software platforms enabling any student with a Chromebook or other computer to use and save projects in the cloud. Much more user friendly and dynamic than textbooks! (Code.org also works great on tablets, Scratch doesn’t, but has a simplified Scratch Jr. app instead).
Each platform has a different teaching approach-- we recommend using multiple platforms, similar to how you’d teach a foreign language using multiple techniques (flashcards, conversation practice, watching videos, worksheets). It helps to reinforce concepts in different ways.
Here’s what we like about Code.org:
The main con is that kids, especially older ones, may get bored. There’s not a ton of freedom to experiment and build what you imagine.
Here’s what we like about Scratch:
Scratch can be overwhelming for new teachers because there’s few built in tutorials and the open-ended nature of it means there’s not an “answer key” (which actually mirrors real life coding better). While Scratch doesn’t transition into real code with syntax, the functionality is so expansive you can teach all the major computational thinking concepts through it.
At CodeSpeak Labs, we’ll often start off the basics with Code.org and then transition to Scratch.
Do you have anything to add? Let me know jen(at)codespeaklabs.com.
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