5 places where any kid can learn how to code

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“The kids of today tap, swipe and pinch their way through the world. But unless we give them tools to build with computers, we are raising only consumers instead of creators,” says programmer Linda Liukas. That’s why parents and teachers should introduce coding as a creative act — a playful form of making that requires imagination, bravery and perseverance. Ready to teach your kids how to code? Here are 5 great places to start.
Hello Ruby is a whimsical website (and book!) created by Liukas to explain programming fundamentals to kids. The detailed lesson plansare appropriate for kids 5+.
Code.org teaches students the basics of programming through a free series of guided exercises — and is one of several resources on this list to be recommended by the TED Technology Team. To bring coding into your classroom, check out the Hour of Code model.
Created and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT’s Media Lab, Scratch is a both a programming language and an evolving community of young coders. To get started, dive into these resources.
Will the next generation of computer scientists include more Ada Lovelaces? Yes, if teachers and parents inspire more girls to start coding — and to embrace risk. “Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure,” says founder Reshma Saujani. “Coding is an endless process of trial and error.” Learn more about the Girls Who Code curriculum here.
Even a Waldorf school can get excited about these computer science teaching tools. “CS Unplugged has activities you can do without a computer to teach programming fundamentals,” says Liukas.


How to Search For (and Add) Free Images Right Within Google Docs

If your document needs some imagery, you can insert free images from right within Google Docs. You don’t need to be out scouring the Internet every time you need an image. Instead, you should learn to take advantage of the free tools right within the app that will allow you to search for and insert images in your doc in just a few easy steps.

In Google Docs, click on the Insert menu at the top of the screen, and scroll down to Image.
In the window that opens up, you’ll see all the usual options for inserting images from your drive, from a URL, or from your computer. However, you should also see the Search option on the far right hand side of the window. Click on that.
Here you will get a search bar. The results that are displayed will be labelled for commercial reuse with modifications, so you know that you can safely use these images. Search for the keyword(s) you’d like. The search pulls from Google, LIFE and stock images.
Click on the image you want. Click Select, and it will insert into your document. From there, you’re free to adjust or resize it as required.


Advanced Tips and Tricks for Google Slides

You might already know the basics for making awesome presentations using Google Slides. But there are a few more features you can use to make your design and flow even better. To learn a few advanced tips and tricks, check out the latest episode of The Apps Show from our friends on the Google for Work team.

In the most recent Apps Show episode, Googlers Drea Alphonso and Jimmy Tran explain how to create your own customized template by using master slides; how to embed YouTube videos or charts from Sheets into your slides; and how to use the new Slides Q&A feature. Check it out, and you might even catch their shoutout to BetterCloud’s popular tutorial on how to become a Google Slides artist with these 7 tricks.


How to Reset and Replace Images in Google Docs

When you’re working with images in Google Docs, there are a few useful functions, like “Reset Image” and “Replace Image.” Here are some tips for when and how to use them.

Reset Image
If you have an image in Google Docs and you’ve applied edits to it that you don’t like, rather than Undo-ing each step, it’s easier just to revert to the original and start from scratch. To do so, right click on the image > Reset image. The image snaps back to its original properties, and you can quickly undo multiple changes at once.

Replace Image
If you like the formatting you’ve done to your image but want to use another image instead, right click on the image > Replace image. The formatting (i.e., size, layout, properties) stays the same, but the original image is replaced by your new choice. This feature can be useful for replacing images in templates.