This page is pretty new, and many "ICT" resources are just incorporated into the relevant subject pages.

Some interesting starting points for learning to code in primary school:

The BBC micro:bit

This little $25 board was created in the UK and given to every year 7 student in the country! There are lots of resources and lesson ideas, so we've started collating a list of these with linkages to Australian curriculum outcomes...see the BBC micro:bit page.

Good articles on coding

I've listed these articles here because they provide interesting perspectives on which language to teach, how to teach it, and why. Written by knowledgable ICT people as well as educators, they are worth a read.

Hour of Code

In 2015 I became more interested in teaching kids coding, based on a positive experience with the Hour of Code initiative. (Side note: as an IT professional that doesn't do much coding, I am not convinced that everyone needs to learn to code, it's not exactly the only IT skill you can work in, but I'd probably agree that everyone should at least learn a little about it).

The Hour of Code is a great place to start, but here is my small list of other coding ideas that are interesting and fun.

Code Club

Code Club is a really interesting initiative. Even if you don't have someone to run this club, they claim to make their resources available on their website and through github. (Although when I looked it is all in private repositories so I'm not sure if there actually is any way to access them).

Arduino/Galileo etc.

We've been doing a fair bit with Arduino and Intel Galileo boards - these are probably only for quite advanced primary school students but there are ways to make them more approachable, like Freetronics kits etc. But it's fair to say that this is normally taught at high school level as the main coding language is C++. (Side note for nerds: there is a really interesting framework that lets you program the Arduino in Javascript! See https://github.com/rwaldron/johnny-five for information.)

Hopscotch

The free iPad app Hopscotch looks pretty fantastic (haven't tried it yet myself). If you've used Blockly or Scratch this will look similar but with the added advantage of super easy drag and drop. I also like the way it is web hosted sp the web site says you can share your creations with others easily (I expect this probably requires an account though, which may be a minor challenge in a classroom environment). The Get Hopscotch website provides a quick overview.

Other popular options

Old favourites that are well worth a look include the following programming environments and tutorial offerings:

  • Scratch - web based, downloadable version, very versatile, open source, widely used, Scratch is a very flexible visual programming environment from MIT with a pretty minimal learning curve to get started. I've collated some links and ideas on my Scratch coding page.
  • Blockly - I'm not actually 100% sure whether Blockly is still available, but I'm including it here because it is a pretty cool visual environment if you can still get it.
  • Khan Academy - if you haven't heard of Khan Academy you should get out from under that rock! An amazing educational initiative that now covers many many subjects including computer programming. Students will get the most out of it if they can create a free account and track their progress.
  • Code Academy - Code Academy has excellent lessons in several languages, Python is a great one to start with.
  • Vex Robotics - we have a Vex IQ so here are some notes on what we've found out about it.