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Tech Tip: Coding to Play

2 min read


Coding has been the hot topic in education and STEM conversations for the past year. I have paid attention to the extent that I know it’s important for today’s students to learn to code and I know that our science, technology, engineering and math teachers are finding ways to integrate coding lessons into their curriculum. I tried a few coding exercises – even played around a bit with Scratch – but never felt compelled to deep dive into the language myself.

That is, until I discovered some of the new coding games that have been developed. Here are some of my favorites:

  • A.K. (Erase All Kittens) is a demo game created by the team at Drum Roll. It teaches HTML and CSS, the languages of websites. It has some great game mechanics and the rewards are these short gifs of cute kittens.
  • Google’s Made with Code, a coding tutorial, featuring the cute characters from Pixar’s Inside Out.
  • Hour of Code Star Wars challenge. Who wouldn’t want to help BB8 reach the scrap metal while the Star Wars theme plays in the background?

These games give us new ways to teach students about coding. Combining the power of gaming and storytelling, they make me want to find more hours in the day so I can learn how to code and play too!

Kami Thordarson has more than 16 years experience as a teacher, curriculum and professional development designer, and administrator. Thordarson specializes in project-based learning, blended learning and design thinking. She envisions a classroom where students are engaged and teachers are designers of relevant and meaningful learning experiences that reflect real-world connections. Thorsdarson is currently a principal for the Los Altos School District in California. She continues to present and share ideas at conferences, internationally and nationally. Connect with her via email or on Twitter .


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