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Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Freebies: Computer and Game Programming

Ok, my kids are a little geeky. Not only do they like to play games, they like to create them. Depending upon your kiddos’ ages and computer know-how, maybe you’re not ready to take the plunge and spend a lot of money on programming lessons for your homeschool. How about getting their feet wet for free?

Simple (Simple Modular Programming Language & Environments) is a computer programming language simple enough for kids to explore and adults with no programming experience to dabble in. It consists of a C++ compiler and a translator, so you can use simpler commands. This requires a download (Windows compatible)

Codecademy.com is offering free lessons in javascript all year long. Sign up, and they’ll send you the link for that week’s lesson each Monday (you can still access the earlier lessons from this year). My oldest (almost 12) is enjoying this. You do the lessons online (no download), registration is free but allows you to save your progress.

Want to try Python (both Windows and Mac/Linux versions available)? You have a few different free lesson options:

Snake Wrangling for Kids

Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python

Making Games with Python & Pygame

These will require downloading Python (and Pygame) to your computer. The books are available as downloadable pdfs, the last two are also available as free mobis for your Kindle.

But maybe you’d like to try 3-D object programming? Alice (Windows, Mac or Linux) by Carnegie Mellon might be what you’re looking for. You can create a 3-D world with included objects (you’ll need graphic software to create your own sprites and objects from scratch) and has an in-program tutorial to get you started. Requires a sizable download.

Previous editions of Friday Freebies:

Literature-based Unit Studies

Geography

Art Resources

1 comment:

  1. My best suggestion is ROBLOX.com.
    It is a free childrens game that teaches programming and design etc, and is one of the most popular kids websites

    ReplyDelete

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