You Won’t Believe What This Free App Can Teach You In Less Than an Hour

Coding, son!

Coding, son!

While all of us aren’t destined to get our heads buried deep in lines of programming languages, chances are that most of us, and especially our children, will benefit from knowing the basics of how the most ubiquitous devices in our world operate.

Despite the current backlash against the “coding for all rhetoric,” teaching kids the basics of programming can’t be a bad thing. Heck, teaching ourselves to code may be a fantastic lead in to a rewarding hobby, a new career path, or both.

That’s the idea behind the “Hour Of Code,” a national initiative set to run December 9 – 15, 2013 that’s designed to take kids through the basics of programming in their schools. This new app from Codeacademy is specifically tailored to the process, so even if your kids (or you!) don’t have a school that’s participating in the Hour of Code, they can still get the benefit.

The Codeacademy takes you through some very basic ideas on coding with examples and a touchscreen-friendly interface. You’ll see how programs can be personalized, how they do math problems, how to work with data like numbers and text strings, and how to store and use variables. No special knowledge is required to use the app; just launch it and tap through the exercises. Each session is short, easy, and full of positive reinforcement, as well as an easy way to try again if a child gets something wrong the first time.

The app has push notification support, to notify you when new exercises get added to the app, and the teaching is simple and useful. These are only the basics, of course, but that’s really all you need in a quick intro to coding, right?

If you have a chance this weekend, be sure to download the app for yourself or your kids and spend less than an hour learning some of the basic language of our computing lives with Codeacademy’s Hour of Code app; you’ll be glad you did.

  • adolfwitzeling

    Great app for getting a good primer in coding. Codeacademy is great. Their exercises are very well structured and build up in easy digestable chunks; from the very basic to more advanced. To be fair I also want to mention codeavengers, a good site as well for getting started in coding- I highly recommend both.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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