Learn To Code On Your Android or iOS Device

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Google GrasshoperFinds of the WeekLearn to code on your mobile device with Google Grasshopper. The app is available for Android and iOS and is aimed at teaching adults to code in JavaScript with a series of lessons in the form of quizzes and puzzles.

The Grasshopper app has a game like interface and uses game puzzles and quizzes to teach coding in JavaScript. The interface is easy to use, and the puzzles and quizzes are presented in small bites. The lessons focus on three areas:

  • The Fundamentals - How code works, calling functions, variables, strings, for loops, arrays, conditionals, operators, objects, and how all these things work together.
  • Animations I - Drawing shapes using the popular D3 library, defining functions, callback functions, and animations.
  • Animations II - Creating more complex functions using D3 and the topics from The Fundamentals course.

Once launched, you're asked to log in with a Google account and choose whether you're new to coding or you've coded before. I didn't see a way to change that option so if you're new it's probably best to go with the 'I haven't coded before' choice.

In addition to the puzzle games and quizzes there's a support forum where you can find explainers for each puzzle and other material. There's also a Code Playground - both are accessible from the drop down menu in the upper right. You can set practice times, control notifications, and opt in to be kept up to date on coding, research and updates to Grasshopper through your Profile.

You'll have the basics of Javascript when you finish all the puzzles and quizzes in the app, and if you want to go further Grasshopper recommends some options in the support forum:
Super-charge your coding skills! - Coding Education

One of the options they recommend are classes taught online at Coursera. Coursera offers the classes for free, but that's not very clear when you visit the site. You can pay for the classes and get a final grade and a Course Certificate, or you can audit the class for free and not get a grade or a certificate.

To take classes you'll need to create a free account. Once you have an account, visit the page for the class. To audit the class, when you're at the page for the class you want to sign up for, click on the blue Enroll button. When the enrollment window opens, there will be an option to audit the class - either a small link in blue at the bottom of the window that says Audit, or a larger window with the option to purchase the course or audit only. You can choose which option you prefer. If you choose audit, at that point you're enrolled in the class. Paying for the class will take you through the purchase process.

Google Grasshopper is built by a team within Area 120, a workshop for experimental projects, and will be expanded in the coming months.

Get Grasshopper: the coding app for beginners for Android and iOS

 

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