Learning computer science when schools are closed

We are facing an incredibly challenging time with the global outbreak of COVID-19, grappling with growing concerns over health, our communities, and the economy. Safety measures have brought widespread school closures across the country.

We want to support teachers, students, and families in any way we can. Below is a set of resources to help your student learn computer science at home. 

Parents – if you’re considering creating a Code.org account for your student or helping them access an existing account, please read this primer.

We also put together some resources to help teachers continue teaching computer science when their students are remote or in socially-distanced classrooms.

No computer at home? See smartphone options

Code Break: Learn from the Code.org team and special guests!

Special guests join Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi in a weekly interactive classroom to learn computer science concepts like algorithms, artificial intelligence, and encryption.

If you haven’t checked out all the Code Break episodes, it’s not too late! Live episodes are no longer airing, but you can view all the episodes and self-paced activities here.

Hour of Code: Try these engaging, introductory tutorials

Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages. There are hundreds of activities and tutorials in over 45 languages.

  • Dance Party – Code a dance party featuring music by Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes, and more.
  • Minecraft – Use your creativity and problem solving skill to journey and explore new worlds.
  • AI for Oceans – Learn how AI and machine learning can be used to address world problems.
  • Flappy Code – Write your own flappy game code.
  • Coding in Astronomy – Learn about astronomy using Quorum, a programming language accessible to blind or visually impaired learners.
  • And many more tutorials!

Videos: Watch these easy 3-5 minute educational videos

How Computers Work: With an introduction by Bill Gates, this series of six short videos is designed to be approachable for everyone and easy to understand. The series explains what makes a computer a computer, how digital information is represented in 1s and 0s, how computer circuits work to manipulate digital information, and how a central processing unit (CPU) and operating system control the inputs, outputs, memory, and hardware of a computer.

How the Internet Works: This series of eight short videos features Vint Cerf, the inventor of TCP/IP, David Karp the founder of Tumblr to explain HTTP and HTML, Google’s “Security Princess” to explain SSL and cybersecurity, and engineers from Microsoft.

Visit our video library.

Learn the fundamentals with our self-paced courses

Express courses

A great option for students getting started on their own. You’ll learn the fundamentals of computer science with drag & drop blocks. Create your own drawings and games. Note: Express courses are currently only available in English, Hindi, Italian, and Spanish. For other languages, we recommend our 20-hour Accelerated Course. To see what’s available in your language, visit our course catalog.

Express Course
Express Course for pre-readers

Programming Modules for older students

Adapted from our CS Discoveries and CS Principles courses, these short, self-paced modules for middle and high school students are a great way to learn concepts that span all programming languages and tools.

Introduction to Game Lab

Program animations, interactive art, and games in Game Lab. Start off with simple shapes and build up to more sophisticated sprite-based animations and games, using the same programming concepts and the design process computer scientists use daily. In the final project, you’ll develop a personalized, interactive program.

Ages 13+. Try it out

Turtle Programming in App Lab

Begin working in App Lab where you’ll use simple JavaScript commands to draw shapes and images using a virtual “turtle.” Learn to break down big programming problems into manageable pieces. Design and program your own digital scene!

Ages 13+.Try it out

Event-Driven Programming in App Lab

Program in the JavaScript language using App Lab. Learn to design apps that respond to user interaction like clicks and key presses. Create a series of simple applications (apps) that live on the web!

For middle and high school students. Try it out

Learn to design and build apps with App Lab

App Lab is a programming environment where you can make simple apps. Design an app, code in JavaScript with either blocks or text, and share your creation with family and friends.

Ages 13+, all modern browsers, English only Try it out

No computer at home? Try these smartphone apps

Box Island

A charming mobile coding game that takes learners on an exciting adventure, while teaching the fundamentals of coding, like algorithms, pattern recognition, sequences, loops and conditionals. (for all ages)


Award-winning learn-to-code platform for kids ages 5-9. Solve puzzles and create games with The Foos while learning to code. 

Note: codeSpark is offering a free 3-month trial. Parent’s email address and credit card information are required at signup.(for pre-readers through Grade 5)


Learn coding with fun, quick lessons on your phone that teach you to write real JavaScript. A Code with Google Program. (for middle school and up)

Limited or no internet access? Check out these unplugged activities

  • Hello Ruby – The world’s most whimsical way to learn about computers, technology and programming. Activities on a range of CS topics, like the ability to decompose a problem, spot patterns, think algorithmically, debug problems and work together. (for ages 4-10)
  • CS Unplugged – A collection of free teaching material that teaches Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. (for ages 5-14)

Support for teachers in virtual or socially-distanced classrooms

Please visit code.org/alternative-classrooms to view resources and suggestions for teachers in virtual or socially-distanced classroom environments. Course-specific resources can be accessed by clicking the links below.

Computer Science Principles

Computer Science Discoveries

Computer Science Fundamentals

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