The idea behind Ready Maker is to get everyone into coding—young students and beginners alike—by using gaming as an entry point. Since playing games appeals to many students, building one is a fun way to learn coding without focusing on the nitty-gritty of the code itself.
At its core, Ready Maker is a collection of game parts that the user arranges to create an original game. As they build their games, students are able to make mazes, design animations, and more with these tools, extending as far as their imagination. How original the results are comes down to what the student wants. They can follow a step-by-step guide and have a working end result, or they can go off-menu and build more creatively. Because it has a level of depth, the platform can be used across years and as skills develop.
The Ready Makerapp can be downloaded on Mac, PC, and iOS and Android devices. The Educators section of the company’s website allows teachers to access lesson plans, coding classes, STEM learning projects, and more. Cost: Free app
Harmony Game Room is a free app for iOS and Android from National University that includes a growing collection of games, tools, and other resources to help children in prekindergarten through grade 6 develop social-emotional learning (SEL) skills while they play.
CyberStart America gives students in grades 9–12 free access to the world-renowned CyberStartgame, in which students will tackle four unique bases, each focusing on offensive and defensive cybersecurity disciplines.
An app called Mightier helps children develop emotional regulation through games that get harder if a monitor detects a rise in heart rate, often precipitated by frustration. The app, which was developed by Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital researchers, incentivizes children to use coping skills they have learned to calm down, which lowers heart rate and brings the games back to an easier level.