The world is digital and many of the currently growing careers have something to do with coding. It doesn't matter if you want to go into site building, game design or any other IT field, it is important to introduce students to coding, preferably as early as possible.

Top eLearning Websites To Introduce Coding to Students

  1. Code.Org
    Code.org is one of the most popular coding sites for people of all ages. Its initial training program is advertised as being suited for ages 6-106. The instructional videos are full of famous names like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg. The initial training, dubbed "1 Hour of Code" is a fun little game that introduces students to the basics of coding. It uses drag and drop boxes and familiar characters from games like Angry Birds and Plants Vs Zombies to teach the very first steps that you need to learn. The program doesn't really take an hour and the instructions are straight forward and easy to understand. Once the 1 Hour of Code is complete, students will move back to pen and paper to learn the basics of computational thinking and the lessons just go on from there. They even offer a K-8 program for U.S. public school teachers that offers up to $1,000 in grant money for teachers who use these lesson plans to teach young children how to code.
  2. Codecademy
    Codecademy offers a more straight forward approach to coding lessons. Students complete a short introduction and then are invited to choose between a number of programming languages that the site offers. Currently, users can choose between Java, HTML/CSS, PHP, Python, Ruby, and API. The lessons are broken down into individual components. For example, the HTML/CSS lessons start out by teaching the user how to use the proper tags to open and close an HTML document. The next step from there is learning how to use the tags to create titles, paragraphs and all the other basic components of a website. The lessons are not as colorful or entertaining as those on Code.Org so they would be better suited for high school students. They do, however, manage to deliver a large amount of information in a very short amount of time. The lessons are estimated to take between 10-12 hours to complete.
  3. Code Racer
    This site is not for the faint of heart and not for those without a little bit of coding knowledge. This site is very similar to Type Racer for typing, in that it pits the student against other players. Instead of typing words or quotes though, the student has to complete coding challenges. There is an "I Need Help" button that will tell the user what needs to be done for the particular challenge but it is not does damage the player's score. This is a fantastic tool to help students practice their skills in an environment that isn't quite practical but is eminently entertaining. Students can compete against each other and against other players in this fantastic game that is quickly gaining in popularity. They just moved to http://teamtreehouse.com/.
  4. Code School
    Code School is one of the most well known sites for free coding classes. Unfortunately, not all of the classes are free but students are able to access every course on the website for a mere $29 per month, though there is no contract or commitment so the students or teachers can simply stop paying anytime the site is no longer needed or required. The site currently offers comprehensive classes for students who are looking to learn JavaScript, Ruby, and HTML/CSS or want to try their hand at crafting applications for the iOS app store. The code skills are being taught through exciting games with immersive narratives, because people learn best when they are enjoying what they do.

Computers are a part of everyday life and that isn't going to change anytime soon. Learning how to code, much like learning to type or learning a new language, is best done while still young. The mind of a child learns these things much easier than the already rigid mind of an adult. The growing popularity of online businesses, telecommuting and the internet in general means that those who know how to code speak the language of the future. Along with typing and writing a resume, learning to code should be included in every school curriculum because these are some of the most important skills that you can learn.