Chromebook Coding: Best Coding Apps For Kids
In today’s classroom, Chromebooks are a popular choice among schools and teachers. They offer a cost-effective option to teach students the basics of computing. Thanks to their simplicity, availability, and relatively cheap price, Chromebooks have maintained their popularity.
One of the more popular uses of Chromebooks is to teach coding. We regularly get questions from teachers asking if they can use Chromebooks for their coding classes. In today’s blog, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions and show you the best coding tools available for Chromebooks.
How Are Chromebooks Different From Regular Laptops?
Chromebooks differ from traditional laptops in a few ways. They are meant to be used for browsing, media playback, light photo editing, and running lightweight apps. To keep costs low, most Chromebooks run entry-level processors. They offer enough computing power for basic use but may fall short for more intensive tasks.
Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS, a Linux-based operating system that is simple, lightweight, and efficient. Chrome OS makes the best use of the limited computing power available and feels a lot like a PC version of Android. Like on Android, apps can be downloaded or bought through the play store.
Can We Do Coding On Chromebook?
The most common question we’ve encountered is whether or not you can do coding on a Chromebook. The answer is yes, you can. Several apps and games can run on Chrome OS just fine. Most apps and tools for Chrome OS are relatively lightweight since Chromebooks aren’t that powerful. Despite this, there are still a good variety of choices when choosing coding tools.
Best Coding Tools
Eager to start your Chromebook coding journey? Below we’ve gathered some of the best coding tools available for use on Chromebooks. They’ll help you, and your class start coding ASAP.
Scratch is one of the most popular coding languages for kids and beginners. It’s a block-based programming language that was developed by a team of educators at MIT. Scratch can be run in any modern web browser, and this means you can run Scratch on a Chromebook through Google Chrome. Using Scratch in-browser will require an internet connection at all times. The advantage is that you’ll always be using the latest version of Scratch and won’t need to update manually. If you want to know more about Scratch, we have an in-depth blog about it here.
A relatively new player to the scene, Replit is quickly gaining popularity, and for good reason. Replit is an online IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that offers over 50 coding languages. It’s text-based and runs in any mainstream browser. It boasts features like Github integration, API plugins, and project hosting. The most interesting feature is “Multiplayer” which allows people to collaborate and code projects together in real-time.
This is great for students and teachers alike. Students can be assigned to a group and work together to achieve a working project. Teachers can view students’ work and progress in real-time. Replit also offers integration for comments and feedback while in the IDE. Replit supports 2D game editing and building as well, along with other resources for both teachers and students. You can view a short demo video here.
Minecraft: Education Edition
Always a popular choice for game-based learning, Minecraft: Education Edition is available through the play store. A more learning-focused version of Minecraft, Education Edition takes the immersive and creative elements of Minecraft to the classroom. It offers interactive lessons for not just coding, but other subjects as well. With controls and gameplay similar to the regular version of Minecraft, students can dive right into lessons. The game offers a wide range of tools to build lessons and offers multiplayer support so that students can learn together. An excellent overview of how Minecraft can be used in the classroom is provided here.
It’s important to remember that while these apps are Chromebook compatible, your hardware must be up to the task of running them. To ensure the best experience for your students, make sure your Chromebooks meet or exceed the minimum specifications recommended for each application. Failure to meet these requirements may result in apps running slow, or not running at all. Minecraft is especially demanding in this case, so make doubly sure your Chromebooks can handle it.
Also, keep in mind that if you want your students to perform any other activities, such as music, video, or photo editing, you might want to look into non-chromebook options with Windows or Mac OS.
Questions and Contact
If you’d like to know more about us and what we offer, or have more in-depth questions or feedback about this blog post, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-665-7799 and we’ll be happy to get back to you.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog post!