Common Sense Review
Updated February 2014

Codecademy: Code Hour

Whirlwind taste of programming boosts confidence for novice coders
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • Follow the instructions -- see what happens!
  • Feedback helps keep students on track.
  • Point and click to update the code.
  • Learn the basics of HTML.
  • Each section provides a score.
Dive right into learning programing and interact with real code in no time.
The standalone app doesn't provide a lot of additional support when questions arise.
Bottom Line
Learn (a little) code in an hour.
David Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Director of academic technology
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Bite-size lessons make it easy to get started, and encouraging feedback keeps kids interested.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Dropping students right into the action gets them working on code from the start.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Inside the app, it's sink or swim with the lessons. On the Codecademy site, students will find a wealth of support and resources.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

In an ideal situation, a teacher would have kids with iPads in the classroom. With the kids working alone or in pairs, the teacher could provide answers to inevitable questions such as "What is a Boolean?" and keep students on track for an hour-long introduction to computer programming. Alternatively, Codecademy: Code Hour could make for a practical homework assignment, getting kids familiar with basic code concepts that would normally be covered in an intro to web programming class.

Read More Read Less
What's It Like?

With the point-and-click experience users have come to expect from iPhone and iPad apps, Codecademy: Code Hour wastes no time and adds few frills to its lean introduction to computer programming. Each mini-lesson consists of a sentence or two of instruction, a snippet of code, and part of the code for the student to manipulate. Get the answer right, and the coder moves on to the next lesson. Get it wrong, and helpful feedback helps clarify any problems.

This impossible-to-fail formula keeps learners progressing through the app as they pick up the basics of JavaScript and HTML. Work through to the end of the lessons and newly minted novice programmers can show off their skills by making a webpage on the Codecademy site.

Read More Read Less
Is It Good For Learning?

For a kid expressing interest in computer programming, Codecademy: Code Hour might be a good place to start. The quick-hit lessons and friendly feedback give learners lots of positive feedback as they work through the nuts and bolts of code. These little steps help scaffold self-confidence about programming more than they cement deeper understanding. The app developers seem to understand this and complete their lessons with a small project, which has learners view the results right on the Codecademy site -- a spot packed with new code-learning opportunities.

Read More Read Less

See how teachers are using Codecademy: Code Hour