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App review by David Thomas, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2014
Codecademy: Code Hour

Codecademy: Code Hour

Whirlwind taste of programming boosts confidence for novice coders

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64%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
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Pros: Dive right into learning programing and interact with real code in no time.

Cons: The standalone app doesn't provide a lot of additional support when questions arise.

Bottom Line: Learn (a little) code in an hour.

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.

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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.

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.

Overall Rating


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


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


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

Common Sense reviewer
David Thomas Director of academic technology

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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users.
Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information must be shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Users retain ownership of their data.
Processes to access or review user data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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