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Chanda Gohrani admin
Chanda Gohrani
Social media manager of Quib.ly
London, GB

6 experts and 4 parents have answered

expert answer
Brian Sharland expert
Brian Sharland ICT teacher Oxfordshire, UK
Education expert

Python http://www.python.org/ It's a clean, easy to understand and quite powerful language. I am also a proponent of pupils starting with full languages as soon as they are ready and willing to learn how to program. If you are not wanting to start on a full language I would suggest either Scratch or Kodu http://scratch.mit.edu/ http://www.kodugamelab.com/

7 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
Scott MacKintosh
Scott MacKintosh Online Community Manager Royal Leamington Spa, GB

Upvoting for Python and Scratch.

Stencyl is also very good, they seem to have a good community and that aspect is built directly into the UI of the software with access to shared art/music/code assets. It also has the added bonus that you can output the games as a flash file so the games are very easy to share.

3 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago
Holly Seddon admin
Holly Seddon Editor-in-chief of Quib.ly Kent, UK

Now, this isn't a language, but it serves a relevant purpose so I hope this is helpful. My 10-year-old is currently really enjoying using the free games maker from Yoyo Games (http://www.yoyogames.com/) - there are paid for upgrades too. It's a great entry-level games maker, and has taught him to think about characters, storylines, controls etc. I know it won't be long until he needs something more complex and less restricted, but it's been a great entry to the world of games making. I believe you can make games for PC and Mac, but you would need to check.

2 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Ponn Sabra expert
Ponn Sabra Best-Selling Author Los Angeles, US
Education expert

Hi. Below are excerpts from my detailed reply to the girls-technology thread here.

  1. I don't know about Python, so I have no comment.

  2. My girls don't like Scratch at all, they are 9, 11 &12yo. Since they expressed their observations of the limitations of the program early on to half-dozen computer programmers and app developers, all the "experts" agreed to stay away from Scratch. However, my 11yo suggested we try it with my nephew who is 5yo, just to have fun & introduce the concepts of programming.

This is what we started with:

My daughter was 8 yo when she made her first twirling ice skating girl on Alice.org This is great beginner stuff. Highly recommend this free stuff.

_ _

Right now, my girls are learning coding through Homeschool Programming. (affiliate link). We absolutely LOVE their stuff! I've been searching for years, because my then 8yo now 12 yo, and she was ACHING to learn real coding. The 11 & 9yo jumped at the opportunity and they all finished Visual Basic already. Here's a sample of my 9yo making Windows pop-ups for her daddy (VIDEO)_. That was what they did in the 4th of 14 week curriculum. This stuff is FANTASTIC! _

The KidCoder curriculum is geared to 4th-8th graders, TeenCoder is geared toward high schoolers. If taking all the curriculum in order, they teach

  1. Visual Basic

  2. Windows Gaming (they're starting now)

  3. C#

  4. Java

  5. Android__

Currently, they also completed many of Khan Academy's Computer Science programming stuff. But, they made their own rule, NOT to use the click and drop, and use the coding option themselves. __

Other recommendations:

_ _

GameSalad.com_ - Fun, free, awesome! But, click and drag app development, not necessarily coding. So, we're using this for app development, so they can see an end-product much quicker than going step-by-step in the coding curriculum. Android, Mac & Windows. Some are paid, we only have the free. _

_ _

Top 99 FREE STEM Websites Report - Every single website on this list is years of experience, in which the girls have tested and I have approved. There are DOZENS of Engineering, Technology (coding, development) sites listed.

So, right now, the girls are using a combination of Homeschool Programming (coding), GameSalad.com (app development), and for fun and play: Khan Academy's Computer Science and the various websites in Engineering & Technology of our Top 99 list.

*The girls just told me, since they wanted to make interactive stories, they said they'd most definitely use SCRATCH to accomplish that.

This thread interested the girls to look into all the other options recommended, ie Phython, Koku, Stencyl; but given their full plates, I told them adding another option may be too much. They agreed, since it took us months (years, really) to find exactly what works best for their personal, academic and professional desires.

1 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Dean Bootcheck expert
Dean Bootcheck Executive Technology Coach Indianapolis, US
Technology expert

Rather than recommending a specific language, I would start a child out with the simple programming exercises at www.codeacademy.com. Even before selecting a particular language to learn, the site guides you through a simple tutorial that will show if your child has an interest in the actual steps that she/he will encounter while learning to program.

Years ago, my son thought that designing video games would be as fun as playing them. I showed him the non-graphical coding nature of creating a computer program, and he decided to remain on the playing end of things.

1 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Lee Probert expert
Lee Probert Senior iOS Software Developer GB
Software/app development expert

I've just commented on a similar thread about Computer Clubs for kids. I'm teaching Scratch to primary school kids. This is an ideal 'language' for teaching kids the basics of coding. For older kids / teenagers I would suggest looking at Processing (java) and/or Actionscript 3 and Flash. Flash is still the best option with the lowest barrier to entry for rich, interactive, animation and games development. Processing is cool if you want to very quickly generate digital art.

1 Reply ( 1 ) Share:
Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Roberto Catanuto expert
Roberto Catanuto Teacher, Club Instructor CH
Education expert

I'd definitely give a go to the famous TurtleArt, geared towards programming Logo-like bits of code, with a strong emphasis on artistic design.

It's available on the most common platforms.

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Experience 4 years ago
Gilbert Guerrero
Gilbert Guerrero

Lua is a simple but powerful language. It's used by a lot of game makers. There's one SDK for Mac/iOS/Android apps that I use all the time and is based on Lua: Corona SDK, http://www.coronalabs.com. Most famously it was used by a 14 year old boy to create a physics-based game that was downloaded by millions. He's a bit older than you're asking about, but I think starting them earlier could work too. That being said, the best language to start with might be whatever you're familiar with because they won't get very far without your help.

1 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Jill Hodges expert
Jill Hodges Founder of Fire Tech Camp London, GB
Education expert

Scratch seems to have the most traction with the primary school crowd, but there are lots of alternatives. Codecademy is great but I've found it slightly over the heads of my primary kids. Mozilla has some fun free resources that get young kids thinking about how computers work : hackasaurus/x-ray goggles shows them the code on websites, and thimble helps them get started with HTML and webpages. We are running summer camps in London for kids from 9 years old to get them learning computing fundamentals through video game programming, mobile app design and robotics!

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Experience 4 years ago
Paul Sutton
Paul Sutton I work in a school Torquay, GB

Try kidsruby

http://www.kidsruby.com/

that is simple coding but also you get to see results adn can play with the code, as in change the colours / text and run again, code academy is very strict it moans if I have a H instead of h within statements like

print("hello") vs print ("Hello")

you can then go on to learn ruby with code academy anyway,

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Opinion 3 years ago

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