Websites and Apps to Prepare Kids for the Tech World
Published on: March 09, 2020Tech-y momma Francine has curated some apps and websites for kids who are curious about technology or simply to prepare kids for the tech world. By Francine Kaye Acelar Technology is a double-edged sword. It can make our lives easier, but without moderation, it can wreak havoc too. Gadgets are a good case in point. iPhones, iPads, and Androids have found their way into every household. Knowing how to take advantage of them to boost kids’ knowledge is key. Learning doesn’t have to be restricted in the four walls of the classroom. And for kids who are especially inquisitive about what goes behind a video game or how a website came to be, there are resources available that can teach them about programming. No need for mom and dad to have coding skills too! Below are some of the websites and apps that I found useful for introducing kids to technology or for satisfying the minds of kids who are interested in how the world of technology works.
TypingKey Seeker (https://keyseeker.parkfieldprimary.com/) This game is aimed towards kindergartners just starting to use the keyboard. The fun game involves using the right hand to type green letters and the left hand for purple. Before getting started, parents should help kids put on “monkey paws” — anything to color-code and can be purple and green tape or wristband. Typing Club (https://www.typingclub.com/) This website is aimed at touch typing and eventually achieving the 100-word-per-minute. There are instructional videos that go with the game, in addition to exercises and anchoring lessons. Multilingual families will be happy to know that the website is available in 9 languages.
CodingDaisy the Dinosaur (iOS) The app is aimed at young coders, with its simple design and easy to use drag-and-drop functions. It introduces the basic concepts of objects, sequencing, loops, and events to kindergartners. Although the game’s instructions require some basic reading skills, kids can always ask mom and dad to read to them when they’re unable to yet. Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/) The website is developed by the MIT Media Lab and designed for kids 8 to 16 years old to program with. It is a programming language that allows kids to create their own interactive stories, games, and animations, and share them with an online community. They can also see “what’s inside” other kids’ creations.
ProgrammingTynker (https://www.tynker.com/ / iOS) Tynker is a website (and mobile apps) that was built to teach programming. It helps kids carve their path in programming — starting from the basics to Python. Kids as young as 5 can create simple apps, kids 7-13 can design Minecraft mods, and kids 13 and up can build websites using CSS and HTML. Move the Turtle (iOS) The app teaches kids programming using the old Logo programming language of the 1980s. The game teaches kids to move the turtle to draw a line or create vector graphics. Each level increases in difficulty, even allowing them to move the turtle however they like.
Safe SearchingKidRex (https://www.alarms.org/kidrex/) This search engine is powered by Alarms.org — the official website of the National Council for Home Safety and Security in the United States. The website uses Google SafeSearch™ technology and is made by kids, for kids. The main search page features kids’ drawings and colorful, crayon-styled font texts. GoGooligans (https://www.lures.info/childrens_search/gogooligans.html) This search engine is aimed at academic searches for kids and teens. It also has a version for higher schoolers and older teens. Also powered by Google SafeSearch™, the site has a pop-up keyboard for kids with disabilities.
BloggingKidBlog (https://kidblog.org/home/) This website is used by K-12 teachers to publish student writing. Kids can set up their blog and parents and kids can work together to create content, find images, and market the blog site. Blog posts can not go online unless a teacher approves. Kids write for real audiences — in the same class, across the hall, or around the world. The world of coding and programming isn’t restricted to thirty-something IT people hunched over two large-sized monitors anymore. There’s a new breed of coders — they’re pint-sized and they’re just in elementary school. Image by Stem.T4L on Unsplash.
About the AuthorFrancine is from the Philippines and is a mom to two girls, 16 and 6. When not too busy writing technology articles and website content, she is out photographing beautiful pregnant mommas, cute newborn babies, and lovely families at Yeng Acelar Photography. The extra .025 seconds in her day is allotted to finding the answer to little humans’ centuries-old question ‘But why?’
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