With the increasing technological advancement, programming has become one of the on-demand career paths, and most parents look to nurture the interest of their children in this field from an early stage. Since coding is quite complicated for students, programmers have come up with simple programming languages that will help students learn the basic codes with much ease. Some of these free programming languages include;
Developed by MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten Lab, Scratch programming language is simplified so suit students between the ages of 8-16 years. This platform comes with an easy-to-use interface as well as tutorials and curriculums for the teachers. The one factor that makes the app stand out from the rest is the fact that it gives the students freedom of expression. This means that one is given a chance to create personalized animations, build interactive stories, and design games. Regardless of whether you a novice, you can swiftly come up with a custom game in minutes.
This is a visual block programming language for students which has been widely used as Google’s response to Scratch. It uses similar building blocks as those in Scratch, but the only difference is that Blockly is an actual programming language that is made of several pre-existing programming languages.
It is easy to use, and you only need to take the blocks from the toolbox and arrange them in the sequence that will solve your problem. After completion, the program will check if the solution is correct and it analyzes the code over again to identify any errors.
This language is suitable for children aged 12 years and above who are interested in developing games and telling stories. In addition to being a free nonlinear storytelling app, Twine does not require students to learn any code. This is because, instead of teaching students how to code, it teaches them how to come up with nonlinear games and stories effectively. With this app, students get to learn more about planning and design skills. The stories include pages of text and images, like websites such as PapersOwl. And the design interface indicates the connected pages which could be modified with images, text, and links.
This is another free 3D programming tool which is designed to teach students in the concept of object-oriented programming languages such as C++. Similar to most coding languages, Alice uses the concept of building blocks where children can develop animations and games by coding camera motions, scenes, and 3D models.
It features a drag-and-drop interface with an easy to play button that is convenient for students. You can also simply convert the programs on Alice into Java IDE which allows learners to transit visual building block interface into a standard programming language.
Swift is a programming language used to build iOS apps. Swift Playgrounds is an iPad app that is designed to teach students from the age of 10 years and above how to program in swift. You can download for free from Apple, and you don’t need to have prior coding knowledge for you to operate it.
It features numerous tutorials that will help build your persistence in problem-solving. It also comes with a drag-and-drop feature which helps eliminate typos. However, the one drawback of this language is that it does not use interlocking block interface.
Lego Mindstorms EV3
An effective way to get a deeper understanding of programming is though analyzing robots. In which case, the Lego Mindstorms EV3 is the best programming software to provide these basics. The best thing about this software is that it has the largest user communities and the visual programming app is suitable for students aged ten years and above.
It runs on computers and tablets and similar to Scratch and Blockly, LEGO uses building blocks. However, this version is designed in such a way that it builds the program horizontally and looks like a flowchart. The language is simple and also uses an open-source Linux kernel that can be modified by traditional coding languages such as C++ and Python. And this makes it suitable for intermediate and advanced programmers, and you will be surprised that with this app, you will not have to take extra classes in college for coding as you can build your skills with the help of the LEG EV3 programming software.
Kodu is a game-programming provided by Microsoft and is compatible for windows and Xbox 360. Although the window version is free, you will have to pay for the Xbox 360. With this app, students can learn to design 3D games. It features a friendly and engaging graphics interface.