Computer Science Resources

There are many resources in various formats to teach coding to learners of all ages. These lists may not be complete as new computer science resources and tools are being developed and released every day. Please feel free to let Michelle Meier, Instructional Technology Consultant, know if there are resources you would like to see added to the list.

Resources Available for Checkout

The CRAEA Media Center has many resources available for teachers to check out to enhance their computer science instruction.

Check out our expanding list of physical computing and coding tools from CRAEA.

Teacher Resources

CSTA The Computer Science Teacher Association is a great place to keep on top of new developments in the field and connect with Computer Science teachers across the country. Don’t forget to join the Iowa Chapter of CSTA.

CSTA also provides a list of vetted professional development opportunities for teachers.  These professional development opportunities are typically tied to existing computer science curricula.

Computer Science Courses

Grand View University

Grand View University offers a Computer Science Methods Course that is available for graduate credit.  This is a stand-alone course that may meet BOEE requirements if you need a CS methods course for your endorsement.

Drake University

Drake University offers an Introduction to Computer Science as well as a Computer Science Methods course.  These courses are not part of an endorsement program but may meet BOEE requirements if you need the courses for your endorsement.

Computer Science Standards Offerings from AEA PD Online

These offerings are self-paced and are designed to familiarize teachers with the computer science standards.  You can take the elementary/ms level or the secondary-level course for recertification credit, or you can take the individual modules for no credit.

Computer Science Endorsement

University of Northern Iowa

The Computer Science Education program at UNI consists of five courses including Fundamentals of Programing, Teaching and Learning of Programming, Foundational Concepts of Computer Science, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Computer Science Methods.  The courses were designed to align with standards for Computer Science Educators and have been approved by the BOEE to meet the requirements of the Computer Science Teaching Endorsement.

Northwestern College

The Computer Science Endorsement program from Northwestern College is a fifteen-credit program focusing on systems and networks, data representation, abstraction and designing, as well as developing, testing and refining algorithms. These courses have been approved by the BOEE to meet the requirements of the Computer Science Teaching Endorsement.

Curriculum Resources

  • CMU CS Academy: A graphics-based computer science curriculum using Python from Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Code Avengers: Comprehensive online courses and content for students ages 5-18.
  • CodeHS: Prepared lessons and materials to teach comprehensive coding units. Offers private and teacher accounts with paid and free options.
  • Provides multiple curriculum options for a complete (and free) K-12 computer science curriculum with a dashboard management system included.  Courses provide learning for students in all situations including introductory block-based programming all the way to the CSP AP exam, with a CSA course coming in 2022.
  • Ozaria: A full CS curriculum and management dashboard addressing the elementary and middle school computer science standards based on the individual Code Combat game-based CS learning program.
  • Tynker: A complete learning system with online courses that teach programming and computational thinking for kids ages 5-18.  The program starts with block-based coding and transitions to text-based languages like Java and Python.

Supplemental Resources

Supplement your existing curriculum with robots and coding tools from the Central Rivers AEA Media Center.

  • App Inventor: Learn how to build Android apps in hours.
  • CS First: Free lessons for upper elementary and middle school provided by Google that utilized Scratch.
  • Codeacademy: Learn to code websites, interactive websites through languages such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery, Python, Ruby, PHP.  The site also provides Hour of Code and curriculum resources.
  • Code Combat: In this online game, players are the wizard who helps other characters complete their missions with their coding spells. Killing ogres and other baddies is a must.
  • Code Maven: A more mature version of Code Monster for the older student from Crunchzilla.
  • Code Monster: Takes users through a  step-by-step Javascript tutorial from Crunchzilla.
  • Khan Academy Computing Courses: These courses could be used as a supplement to existing curriculum or bundled as their own course.
  • Dash: Learn how to create in HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and an instant preview of your code.
  • Game Maven: A follow-up to Code Maven from Crunchzilla and offers more advanced Javascript coding for those with coding experience.
  • Gamestar Mechanic: While not technically a coding site, Gamestar Mechanic provides complementary skills as users learn about game design concepts. Options include individual accounts, teacher-supervised accounts, and paid online courses taught by professionals.
  • MIT App Inventor: A blocks-based programming tool for creating apps for Android devices. Provides tutorials and curriculum and teaching resources.
  • Scratch: Program interactive stories, games, and animations and share them with others. Developed at MIT, it is one of the oldest and most popular online tools. Check out Easy Projects to Get Started with Scratch: Drawing 2D Shapes and Advanced Level Projects with Scratch: Fun with Fractals for ideas.
  • Scratch Jr.: This app allows kids to program their own interactive stories and games and prepare them for using Scratch and other block-based programming tools.
  • Sploder: Learn about game design and create video games in this drag-and-drop flash-based environment.
  • Swift Playgrounds: Apple’s iPad and Mac app to teach kids coding.

Extracurricular Programs

Extracurricular programs can be a great way to get started with coding in schools.  Here are some good programs that you may be able to start at your school.

  • Black Girls Code: The small number of women and people of color in the computer science fields is the inspiration for this group aimed at empowering girls 7-17 to become STEM innovators and community leaders.
  • Coder Dojo: Volunteer-led groups devoted to helping young people (7-17) learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games, and more. The one rule of CoderDog is “‘Above All: Be Cool,’ bullying, lying, wasting people’s time and so on is uncool.”
  • Girls Who Code: Women represent 12% of all computer science graduates.  In 1984, they represented 37%. This group is dedicated to equalizing the gender divide in computer science by exposing girls to coding, robotics, web design, and mobile development at young ages.
  • Hour of Code: The Hour of Code is intended to function as a one-hour introduction to computer science and to demystify code. An hour is a great way to begin to move coding from the extracurricular environment to a regular classroom.

Important Contacts

Staff Directory