5 Unique Online Classes Teaching Girls to Code for Free

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Unique new coding courses are combining creativity and programming to encourage more girls to develop an interest in computer science. Although the need for programmers continues to increase, only 14% of computer science graduates are female.

Enticing online programming courses are helping girls gain confidence and interest in coding so that they are later able to enter college programs as prepared as their male peers.

Take a look at these top 5 high-quality online coding courses to see what may work for your daughter:

Made with Code (elementary school and older)

Google’s Made with Code website offers beginning coders the opportunity to learn hands-on coding by completing unique projects such as creating an animated GIF, designing a 2D avatar, and turning a selfie into a kaleidoscopic image.  Occasionally, Google offers special opportunities such as the chance to use code to design a bracelet that is shipped to users free of charge. Additional projects help coding girls create their own apps, design LED bookmarks, and make their own websites. The Made with Code site also helps prospective coders connect with Makers and Mentors – women who have succeeded in the field. The “Why Coding is Kind of a Big Deal” section offers tips for helping girls get started with coding and makes a strong – and uniquely worded - case for why it matters:

“Simply put, code is a tool that lets you write your story with technology.

If you can code you can communicate your ideas with a computer or a program so they can be brought to life in bigger, brighter, and more creative ways. With code you can build a great new app or design the next trend in wearable fashion or even build a robot that can help doctors and nurses save lives.

Code may look intimidating at first but really it’s just another way for you to share your ideas with the world–albeit in a very powerful, creative way.”

CodeQuest Website Adventures (elementary school)

This free ipad app helps younger programmers (six and up) create their very own websites. They learn simple programming skills, using HTML and CSS. Games and animations help learners work through the process. At completion, young coders can upload their websites to a secure server for viewing by family and friends.

Code.org (middle school and older)

This non-profit organization helps teach young people – particularly girls – how to code. In the “Learn” section, users can play progressive games to teach themselves coding skills. They can learn the basics with Code Monkey, practice Javascript in the CodeCombat game, develop Python skills by playing Eliza the Chatterbot Doctor game. There’s even a tutorial that teaches coding by allowing students to help Anna and Elsa from Frozen manipulate snow. Girls can also write their first computer program by taking an extended tutorial with video lectures with programmers like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg and coding interactions with games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies.

Code Academy (high school and older)

Code Academy is a free, interactive resource that teaches users how to make a website or learn to code in HTML, CSS, jQuery, Python, Ruby, and PHP.

  This simple site skips the games and helps coders learn languages in a straight-forward fashion. Girls can also check out the website to read success stories from women that have used Code Academy to create a career for themselves, connect coding with their love for music, and help women in the developing world have greater opportunities.

Khan Academy Computer Programming (high school and older)

Through Khan Academy, users can learn view coding tutorials created by professionals and work their way through several interactive learning modules. Each well-organized module walks coders through the instruction step-by-step with elements such as reviews, quizzes, challenges, and projects. The entire course teaches both Javascript and ProcessingJS as well as HTML and CSS. Coders complete simple animations, games, simulations, and websites.

Proud coders can share their successful coding creations to receive encouragement and help other learners.

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Littlefield, Jamie. "5 Unique Online Classes Teaching Girls to Code for Free." ThoughtCo, Nov. 30, 2014, thoughtco.com/girls-teaching-girls-to-code-1098093. Littlefield, Jamie. (2014, November 30). 5 Unique Online Classes Teaching Girls to Code for Free. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/girls-teaching-girls-to-code-1098093 Littlefield, Jamie. "5 Unique Online Classes Teaching Girls to Code for Free." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/girls-teaching-girls-to-code-1098093 (accessed November 18, 2017).