Diving into the world of Computer Science can be a bit overwhelming for many students and teachers. Don’t be intimidated, there are dozens of online services that are dedicated to teaching students to code in fun, friendly and interactive ways. We wanted to dedicate a few blog posts to talk about some great options to start coding in the classroom. Enjoy!
Whenever the subject of coding comes up, our first response is always, “Have you tried Codecademy?” Codecademy is an excellent tool for easing students and teachers into the world of coding. If you have never written a line of code in your life, this is the place to start. The program is entirely free for the bulk of its content and spans many levels and languages. What makes Codecademy so accessible is that everything can be done from within the browser on any device. Since Codecademy does not require external downloads or applications, it can be used on shared devices like chromebooks, iPads,or lab computers. This means you never have to worry about saving files, distributing files to a class, or any of the messy techy jargon that can bog down the learning process.
Everything in Codecadamy is kept in one, easy-to-use place that allows teachers to track students progress. They provide a very clean, simple user interface with step-by-step instructions on the left side bar, a large colorful simplified text editor in the center, and the console output on the right. This layout is important because it allows the students to work on one page without needing to tab between several different windows and files.
Codecademy provides starter code and asks students to fill in bits and pieces rather than creating entire documents from scratch which can be very daunting for a beginner. With this program, everything is self contained within the web browser, which makes getting it up and running very easy. Codecademy offers courses in nearly every programming language and is an excellent choice for teachers who want to teach their students the basics of programming for free. Although most of Codecademy is free, they do offer a Pro Version for $20 per month. This adds additional features including projects, guided learning paths and quizzes. However, most of this is extra information and Codecademy does a great job of making all the content you need completely free.
Let us know what you think- is Codecademy a hit or are you still looking for other options to explore the world of coding with your students?