Top Pick

Best Coding Tools for High School

Coding is an invaluable literacy applicable to virtually any future career or field of study. These high school-level tools will help students build this essential 21st-century literacy by learning how code works and how to write code themselves. Once they're up to snuff, coding will give your students a new way to demonstrate knowledge and express themselves. And teachers, take note: There are tools here for those brand new to code as well as those looking for more of a challenge, so make sure to pick and choose to give every student a window into the world of programming.

If you're looking to begin coding lessons in your classroom, check out our Teaching Strategies for how to Get Started With Coding in Your Classroom.

Scratch Visit Website: http://scratch.mit.edu/
Jump-start future programmers with adaptive sandbox tool
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Code.org Visit Website: http://www.code.org
Popular games, big names get kids and teachers pumped to program
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Made with Code Visit Website: https://www.madewithcode.com/
Inspirational videos and fun projects entice girls to start coding
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Mozilla Thimble Visit Website: https://thimble.mozilla.org/
Inspiring platform teaches coding through remixing
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Cargo-Bot Publisher: Two Lives Left
Challenging game helps kids learn to think like programmers
Grades 5-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
Mozilla X-Ray Goggles Visit Website: https://goggles.webmaker.org/
Remix tool reveals code, can strengthen kids' understanding of the Web
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Appinventor.org Visit Website: http://www.appinventor.org/
Great mobile app creation site has solid teacher resources
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Hack 'n' Slash Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Zelda-inspired puzzler lets players peek behind the code curtain
Grades 6-12
Type Game
Price $13.37
Platforms Linux, Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Lightbot - Programming Puzzles Publisher: Danny Yaroslavski
Simple design, but challenging fun for budding programmers
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price $2.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating 4
MIT App Inventor Visit Website: http://appinventor.mit.edu/
Fun programming site gets kids to build their own mobile apps
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
Codecademy Visit Website: http://www.codecademy.com
Terrific hands-on coding practice with live feedback
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
CodeCombat Publisher: CodeCombat
Dungeon-crawling adventure where code is king
Grades 4-12
Type Game
Price Free, Paid
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
GameSalad Publisher: GameSalad, Inc.
Great interface, flexible publishing options make game-making a snap
Grades 7-12
Type Game
Price $19+ per month, discounts for educators
Platforms Mac, Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Codea Publisher: Two Lives Left
Well-thought-out coding platform for real game programming
Grades 8-12
Type App
Price $14.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Vidcode Visit Website: http://www.vidcode.io/
Cool coding tool tuned to teen girls' passions aids creativity
Grades 8-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Code School Visit Website: https://www.codeschool.com/
Awesome interactive coding lessons can make anyone a programmer
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Treehouse Visit Website: https://teamtreehouse.com/
Fun, self-paced web development and coding lessons offer high value
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated