Online ICT resources

There’s an embarrassment of riches of resources available online, as Alan O’Donohoe explains. “If you want to create web pages, Mozilla has a good product called Thimble; if you want to add more interactive content, there are websites like Code Academy and Code Avengers, which teach you aspects of JavaScript. If you want to make an application, there’s the Google Android App Inventor. Microsoft has a tool in DreamSpark you can use to create apps for Windows 7 smartphones. For iPhones, there’s GameMaker, where you buy a licence and then sell games through the App Store.”

You and your colleagues will no doubt come to have your own flexible list of favourites, but in addition to those and the many mentioned above, here are five that could prove very useful.


A free learn-to-program environment, YOUSRC provides a simple way to begin coding. The man behind YOUSRC, Paul Clarke, explains: “A big part of what I do is support teachers who need to develop new skills. This includes direct email and forum support for teachers, putting together videos, writing and offering free lesson plans, and attending conferences.”

2 Teaching Kids 

As the title suggests, this American site provides teachers and pupils over the age of ten years old with an introduction to programming using Microsoft Small Basic, as well as resources for teaching children from the age of five visual programming using Microsoft Kodu.

3 ScratchEd

Alan O’Donohoe calls MIT’s Scratch language “very, very clever”. He continues: “To some people, it looks like it’s just for primary school children, but I’ve had 16-year-olds building very complex games with it.”

ScratchEd is a highly active portal in which educators can learn from and share Scratch-based teaching resources.

4 Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python

A free, open-source e-book (also available to buy in print) written by US software developer Al Sweigart, each chapter of Invent Your Own Computer Games With Python gives you the source code for a new game, then teaches relevant programming concepts using the code provided for examples.

5 Rethinking ICT

Chris Leach believes some schools will end up in a worse situation following the disapplication of the ICT Programme of Study. Leach is therefore assembling the Rethinking ICT wiki, which aims “to bring together an improved Programme of Study for ICT as well as resources, advice and material to support less confident teachers”.

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