Looking for ways to improve your ICT and Computing skills? There are lots of ways to do it and luckily many tools are free!
Programming and Computing
Kodu Game Lab
Kodu Game Lab is a visual programming language for creating games, it is accessible for children as young as 8 and enjoyable for anyone. Kodu can be controlled using an Xbox controller or a mouse and keyboard. It is available free for the PC or on the Xbox at a small cost.
Scratch gives you a range of programming constructs which you build up like a jigsaw to create your code. It allows you to create interactive stories, games, music and art.
TouchDevelop lets you create and run apps on pretty much any modern computing device, from smartphones to tablets and even PCs. TouchDevelop features a predictive on-screen code keyboard and a touch-optimised programming language.
SmallBasic exposes you to real programming language, drawing inspiration from earlier versions of BASIC (your parents may remember this from the Commodore 64 many years ago!). It has a simple environment that is rich in features and is aimed at beginners who want to learn programming.
Greenfoot is a bit more advanced than the other options, it teaches object orientation with Java. Create ‘actors’ which live in ‘worlds’ to build games, simulations, and other graphical programs. The actors are programmed using Java code, providing a combination of programming experience in a traditional text-based language.
Codecademy is one of the easiest ways to learn to code. It’s an interactive website that teaches you through a variety of online courses. It’s fun, and you can do it with your friends.
Microsoft Digital Literacy course
If you’re more interested in improving your IT skills, such as the features of Microsoft Office and computing in society, try out their Digital Literacy Course which has various levels of difficulty.
General Skill Building
Don’t forget, YouTube is a fantastic source for free tutorial videos. You can learn anything from webdesign to Photoshop. There are so many great videos to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice!