Microsoft - Kids Can Code!!!

Did you know that Microsoft has had tools and programs to teach kids to code… for 8 years???

Well, consider yourself informed!

Microsoft K-12 CS Tools

1. Small Basic

Download Microsoft Small Basic

When: Small Basic started in 2008!

Format: Text-Based Coding (the only text-based coding language + IDE built for kids!)

Age: 8+ (great for middle school; designed for students ready to graduate from block-based coding to professional text-based coding)

Blog: You’re on the blog for Small Basic now:

About: Small Basic teaches actual text/syntax-based coding (the professional stuff), helping students take the next step after tile and block-based conceptual coding. Unlike Java, JavaScript, and Python (which were made for adults), Small Basic was made for kids and young students. The language has been simplified for that purpose, the UI teaches you as you type, and the interface is simple and easy! See The Unique Features of Small Basic.

Adoption: 2.4 Million Installations!

Education: 10+ Books, including my book (Learn to Program with Small Basic).

Full free curriculum:


Here we used Small Basic to teach kids to code:


2. Kodu


Download Kodu Game Lab

When: Kodu first released in 2009!

Format: Tile-Based Coding (the first free tile-based coding system!)

Age: 4+ (a great starting point for kids before they learn block-based coding and text-based coding)

Adoption: 2.35 Million installations!

Last update was 3 days ago!

Education: Planet Kodu Free Game Design Course

Try out the Kodu Makerspace tutorial!


Learn about Kodu:


3. Minecraft on –


Web Based- Get Started

When: 2016 and 2015 versions!

Format: Block-Based Coding

Age: 6+ (for kids who can read)

Also, don’t miss out on Minecraft Education Edition!

4. Touch Develop –


Web Based - Get Started

When: Launched in 2011:

Format: Block-Based Coding

Age: 6+ (for kids who can read)

Adoption: Over 1 Million users!

Education: Try out the Flatverse and Jetpack Jumper tutorials!

Free Curriculum – Creative Coding through Games and Apps:


5. Code Hunt


Web Based - Get Started

When: Started in 2014!

Format: Tests Text-Based Coding Skills (Java & C#)

Age: 13+

Adoption: 350K+ Users!

Meet the team at MSR:


Microsoft K-12 CS Programs

1. Are you a teacher?

Join the Microsoft Computer Science Teachers Network!!

  • Connect directly with Microsoft engineers! Get help and info!
  • Learn about everything Microsoft is doing in K-12 and College-level CS Education!
  • Collaborate with other CS teachers around the globe!

2. IGNITE Worldwide Girls Events


IGNITE = Inspiring Girls Now in Technology Evolution

IGNITE Worldwide started in 1999! Check out IGNITE's website.

Microsoft teams with Small Basic and IGNITE to teach girls how to code! See the videos here. (Workshops; Interviews)

There are opportunities to Support, Volunteer, Start a Chapter, Host an Event, and Subscribe! See the Take Action tabs. If you work at Microsoft, just email me (Ed Price) to get involved.

Here is a look at the Small Basic IGNITE workshops at Microsoft:


3. Microsoft Coding Camps at Microsoft Stores

YouthSpark Programs

Find a YouthSpark Program at a Microsoft Store near you!

We’ve been running workshops in Microsoft Stores to teach kids how to code since January 2011 (using Small Basic and Kodu)! We updated these classes in 2015 as the YouthSpark Hour of Code workshops! These have recently included Touch Develop’s Flatverse and Jetpack Jumper, Kodu’s Makerspace, and’s Minecraft code tutorials.



TEALS = Technology Education and Literacy in Schools

Launched in 2009:

Now high schools can get help from professional developers... directly in their classrooms! For more info, visit the TEALS website.


5. DigiGirlz


DigiGirlz started in 2000!

Microsoft DigiGirlz gives middle and high school girls opportunities to learn about careers in technology, to connect with Microsoft employees, and to participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops. Learn more at the DigiGirlz website.


That's Small and Basically it!

– Ninja Ed