Online learning resources for students, parents & educators of all ages

Software Cornwall's list of online learning resources for students, parents & educators of all ages

We have compiled a list of some of our favourite computer science and online learning resources aimed at kids and adults alike to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these resources are free and best of all, they are all fun and creative!

Something missing from this list? Or are you one of our members who are offering something that you would like us to share with the wider Cornish tech community? Contact us, tweet us, message us on Slack and we’ll add it to the list.

1. Coding for kids, lessons from Pixar animators, and digital activities lasting 15 minutes to 1 hour

  • Check out Pixar in a Box. They let you take a behind-the-scenes look at how Pixar artists do their jobs. You will be able to animate bouncing balls, build a swarm of robots, and make virtual fireworks explode.
  • With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.
  • The BBC Microbit home learning kit has a range of easy to follow 15-minute activities to get you coding your own digital creations. You don’t need a Microbit to get started but they are available to buy. Learn more about how we recently used both Microbit and Arduino in our Mission to Mars Bytesize session.
  • Visit the Hour of Code website for one-hour coding exercises that include projects for anyone who wants to have a go. Easy to follow short video presentations with lots of rewarding applause! Start with something fun and simple to build confidence and start programming in blocks, python, javascript, HTML, CSS, and wolfram.
  • Check out the Raspberry Pi website. They have some great projects that will help you start writing code and get going with digital making. Also, the official magazine of the Raspberry Pi has actually been around longer than the Raspberry Pi computer itself! The magazines are all available to download for free from the Raspberry Pi site, plus there are plenty of books to get you started. And if you take out a subscription you get a free computer too!
  • Machine Learning for Kids enables children to program in Scratch but levering the power of IBM Watson to train their own text or image recognition bots.
  • Creative Coding for Kids will help young coders learn Javascript with OpenProcessing through programmed art. Produced by Cornwall’s own Tariq Rashid.
  • For the musically inclined or those who just want to make a noise there is Sonic-Pi. A free downloadable program to code sound. Create complete pieces of music through the power of code, become an algorithmic DJ performing live for your family or the next digital Beethoven. Full of sound samples, synthesizers, examples and tutorials. There is also a free book to download via the Raspberry Pi publishing website.
  • Google’s Teachable Machine demonstrates machine learning with image and sound recognition. Not really coding but the results can actually be used in a real-world program if needed. Can you train the machine to learn dance moves?
  • The award-winning team behind Pobble are based in Truro and have designed an educational platform for teachers to help improve children’s writing ability. Their brilliant tool provides everything you need to teach, improve and assess writing whilst helping to inspire pupils and grow their confidence. Parents, check out this blog that outlines 25 non-screen activities that support writing.

2. Educational video games? Say what?

Back in March 2020 during the first UK COVID-19 lockdown, the National Video Game Museum posted a brilliant Twitter thread showcasing genuinely educational video games and online learning resources that kids can play at home. Time well spent

3. Inspiration for women to become kick-ass developers and future leaders.

CodeFirstGirls are on a mission to help women rewrite their future and provide a variety of courses (some free) that help budding tech enthusiasts gain skills in software development and coding. Most are aimed at 18-23 year-olds but you can also be eligible if you’ve studied in the last 2 years or are currently a university student. They also provide Career Switcher courses for any woman looking to take their first step into the tech industry.

Closer to home in Cornwall, TECGirls have lined up some lockdown reading with their free magazine aimed at girls aged 6-12 to help ignite a passion for technology, engineering, and creativity for young girls in Cornwall. Keep an eye on their blog for project ideas, events, stories, and a shining spotlight on the TEC Women inspiring the next generation of young leaders.

4. Virtual training & skills development delivered by your local tech community

Software Cornwall is still offering remote services and benefits to members including the Employer Led Skills project led by Cornwall Marine Network. The program will offer a mixture of online and classroom-based training (when restrictions allow) to help employers and employees stay current with key skills.

View all training courses on our website. Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

Training: An Introduction to Docker

Date: 2nd March – 4th March 2021
Time: 1pm – 5pm
Location: Online (Zoom)
Trainer: Craig Buckler
Full Price: £300
Funded Price: £150

Despite the benefits, Docker is often shunned by developers. It looks complex. Terminology can be impenetrable. Tutorials never explain how to use Docker during development. This course demonstrates the core concepts and explains how to integrate Docker into new or existing development projects. You will quickly learn what Docker can do, how it works, and best-practice techniques for your team.

Empowering Software Development Experts with Developer Security Essentials

Date: TBC (register interest)
Time: TBC
Location: Online (Zoom)
Trainer: Charles Weir. Facilitated by Allan Kelly
Full Price: £240
Funded Price: £120

Do you have software development teams who could use support with software security and privacy? We are offering a lightweight solution at low cost, to:

  • Give your technical leads a ‘security story’, that offers practical, marketable, security to suit the client;
  • Support sensible business decisions around security and privacy issues;
  • Provide assessments of impact, showing how the team benefits; 
  • Introduce teams to powerful online engagement techniques useful for meetings and events.

5. And finally, some much-needed inspiration and motivation from TED

Inspirational, motivational, and full of topics to get your brain juices flowing with resources for absolutely everyone, TED breaks down their content to help students, teachers, and parents educate and get educated. With A-Levels and GCSEs cancelled this year, TED might just help keep that motivation ticking along through a journey of discovery.

  • For students: Categorised by subject area, there’s a TED talk for every subject to inspire, intrigue, and spark creativity in all learners.
  • For Educators: spark curiosity in your learners and build customised lessons.
  • For Parents: customised lessons and inspiration to help your kids engage and learn.

Did we miss something?

Something missing from this list? Or are you one of our members who are offering something that you would like us to share with the wider Cornish tech community? Contact us, tweet us, message us on Slack and we’ll add it to the list.