General Links

If your child is working in something other than is listed below, email us. We often have mentors who can help with other common languages. We do not get kids started on those languages, but if they’ve already mastered the basics and are working on their own projects to move up, we’ll help them progress in our Independent Study room.

Quick Links to stuff we use in Dojo (or think is useful at home)

Beginners


We’ve found Code.org’s tutorials are a great and gentle way for beginners to get started with programming. It’s all drag-and-drop and guides you through solving simple coding logic problems so you can get the hang of coding without having to write complex code.

  • Flappy Bird: Get an easy 20-minute intro to coding by building Flappy Bird.
  • The Hour of Code: Step up to a bit more involved set of coding problems with the Hour of Code.
  • K-8 Intro to Computer Science: This should take you 15-25 hours to complete and introduce you and your child to a number of interesting concepts, all while continuing to use Code.org’s simple drag-and-drop interface.

Scratch

Scratch is an online IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for kids that uses a very visual style of building program elements using blocks, sort of like building with Lego. While this is similar to the drag-and-drop style of Code.org, it’s completely free form so kids can build anything they can imagine (within reason) as they learn more about computing concepts and computational thinking.

JavaScript

There are many reasons we chose JavaScript as our “advanced” language. Everything you need to get started is installed on pretty much any tablet, phone, or laptop you’ll get your hands on. It’s used for web apps, desktop apps, server apps, and mobile apps, and the uses for JavaScript keep growing. You can create any kind of app you want (other than really high-end 3D) with JavaScript.

  • JS Dares: A gentle introduction that uses game-like challenges to help kids get used to some of JavaScript’s syntax.
  • Code Monster: A great low-bandwidth series of exercises to introduce kids to JavaScript. Starts with fiddling with parameters to mess with shapes. Ends with 2D physics animations.
  • Game Maven: A follow-up to CodeMonster that walks kids through coding three actual graphical games.
  • Greg’s Tutorials: a handful of JavaScript tutorials Greg has taught at Dojo.
  • Khan Academy Computer Science: Well done and highly-regarded, the only reason we don’t put kids on this at Dojo is because it has a lot of video and that can clog the limited WiFi resources. An excellent alternative to work with at home.

HTML5 and CSS

JavaScript may provide a lot of the web’s interactivity, but it is also closely tied to HTML5 and CSS. HTML5 and CSS build the structure of the web apps that JavaScript manipulates. Some people would dismiss it as vocational or unimportant, but it’s actually really important. It’s how the user interfaces for more and more applications are being defined; not just for web, but for mobile and desktop apps as well.

Miscellaneous others

  • CoderDojo Kata: A neat Wiki of educational resources and projects created by CoderDojos around the world.
  • Learn Python the Hard Way: An online beginners course in Python. Many kids have requested Python. We’re not offering an intro to Python yet, but this is a good way for independent learners to get started.