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Teach your students to code with's free resources

By Janice Mak
December 11, 2019
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If you haven’t heard yet, coding is a big deal, and for good reason. Computer science (CS) job opportunities pay well and are growing at twice the national average. And yet, CS courses don’t even count toward graduation in many U.S. states. is trying to change this disconnect. Launched in 2013, this nonprofit’s vision is for every student in every school — especially underrepresented groups such as women and students of color — to have the opportunity to learn computer science. The organization’s Hour of Code program and videos featuring Ruchi Sanghvi, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Bosh are quickly spreading the word that CS should be part of core curriculum, alongside courses like biology, chemistry or algebra.  

And it’s working: 44 million students and 1 million teachers are coding with — and every day more are learning how.  

Want your students to join the movement? Check out this list of free tools, resources and sources of inspiration to help you get started.

Code Studio

The four 20-hour online Computer Science Foundations courses as free, ready-made curriculum designed to give K-12 students a foundation in CS principles and programming, beginning with early readers and expanding through high school. The coursework encourages students to work in pairs, communicating and collaborating to solve puzzles and complete tasks. The curriculum integrates unplugged activities requiring no computers to develop computational thinking and hands-on, minds-on activities to learn vocabulary terms, such as “algorithm,” in context. You can even try out an accelerated teaser version to preview what your students would learn.

CS in Algebra and CS in Science courses 

These online courses for middle-schoolers are formatted like video games and built on a block-based version of Bootstrap. CS in Algebra features 20 lessons with videos and other support materials that explore both algebraic concepts, such as defining variables, and geometric concepts, such as the coordinate plane. CS in Science, the result of a partnership between and Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically), aims to integrate CS practices into the science classroom through modeling and simulation. You can even get free professional development to teach this curriculum.

Exploring Computer Science course

High school educators should check out this course meant to broaden participation in computer science. The course's video and curriculum banks continue to grow, including a unit on artificial intelligence. Check out the PD opportunities for teaching this course and stay tuned for’s Computer Science Principles course.

Face-to-face workshops

Don’t feel comfortable diving into teaching CS without some training? K-5 educators and middle school teachers just starting out with CS can attend free, one-day professional development workshops led by one of’strained facilitators. These are high-quality, engaging workshops designed to help teachers bring computer science to their own classrooms. You’ll take home a printed curriculum guide, materials to teach the unplugged activities and fun swag! Find workshops in your area. forum 

Be part of an inspiring professional learning community. Get ready to ask questions, share insights and be inspired to grow as a CS educator.

Social media 

Follow on Twitter @TeachCode and Tumblr to get tips, updates and opportunities to network with other passionate CS educators.

Community meetups

Register for one of's free monthly meetups for teachers. Check the schedule to find out when meetups for Exploring Computer Science, CS in Algebra, CS in Science and more happen.’s petition

Want to take the movement to policymakers? Learn about the state of computer science education in your area and sign the petition to advocate for the idea that every student in every school should have the opportunity to study computer science.

Inspire your students and colleagues

Share videos, tell the stories of’s inspirational students and inspirational teachers, and hang free posters featuring quotes from celebrities, such as Melissa Meyer and Ashton Kutcher. Even better, nominate a student or teacher yourself.

Get more resources

The third-party resource page lists everything from ScratchEd to Project Lead The Way, along with a brief curriculum description, associated costs and available PD. 

ISTE U - Computational Thinking edtech PD

Janice Mak is an educator from Phoenix, Arizona. She serves on the K-12 executive council for NCWIT, CSTA AZ board, AZ State Board of Education and AZ K12 Center board. You can read more about her learning adventures on her blog here and follow her @jmakaz on Twitter.

This is an updated version of a post that first published on August 21, 2015.