22 Free Ways To Learn to Code At Any Age

Learning computer science helps you learn problem-solving, logic and mathematics. As the world increasingly relies on technology, it becomes more important to understand how computers work and to have a basic understanding of the technology underpinning almost everything we do. Here’s a list of free apps, software and websites for every age to get going with computer science. These apps will teach you the basics of coding, which is at the core of computer science.

For more information about kids and computer science, check out the April 2016 issue of Kids, Code and Computer Science.

Early students (5–6):

Students at this age are learning the foundations of logic and how a program works. These apps present coding basics using fun characters and stories.

  1. Kodable
  2. Tynker
  3. Scratch Jr.
  4. Hopscotch
  5. Daisy the Dinosaur*
  6. The Foos — available on iOS and Android

Beginner students (6–10)

Beginner students are beginning to try building more complex programs and trying to solve difficult puzzles and challenges.

  1. Khan Academy — also has an iPad app
  2. Kodable
  3. Code.org — website
  4. Google’s Made with Code — web-based app
  5. Scratch — web-based app
  6. Hopscotch
  7. Alice* — PC/MAC download
  8. Tynker
  9. Lightbot

Intermediate students (9–12)

Intermediate students understand how programming works and the logic and reasoning behind basic code. They are ready to start building complex games and apps. At this level, students should start learning about computer science and how it is different than just coding.

  1. Khan Academy — also has an iPad app
  2. Code.org
  3. Cato’s Hike*
  4. Google’s Made with Code — web-based app
  5. Scratch — web-based app
  6. HTML5 Rocks
  7. Tech Prep by Facebook *
  8. Tynker
  9. Code Combat

Advanced students and Adults (12+)

At this level, students are building complex software. They learn software design principles and writing controls for hardware, robots and sensors. They also learn how computer scientists work in teams to design and build software and about what the career path for a computer scientists looks like.

  1. Khan Academy — also has an iPad app
  2. Code.org
  3. Scratch — web-based app
  4. CodeAcademy — All free, advanced coding
  5. Coursera — free courses, but you pay to get a certificate
  6. edX — Founded by MIT :-) and Harvard, free courses from 60 universities.
  7. MIT Open Courseware — :-) This site includes videos and notes from actual MIT courses. Definitely for people who want to do more than code, but actually understand computer science.
  8. Touch Develop by Microsoft*
  9. Code Monster* — web-based app
  10. Hackety Hack* — Download and learn Ruby programming language
  11. Mozilla Thimble* — web-based app
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.