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Pros: Video lessons are clear and easy to follow, and the guidance kids will get from actual tutors (with a premium subscription) is great.
Cons: You can't do much without paying for access; a subscription is required to view most sections, and you can’t send tutors questions without one.
Bottom Line: Effective tools and clear lessons teach real programming, but you'll have to spend some cash to help kids master it.
Teens can move through the individual lessons on their own, or you can share them with the whole class. Videos are short enough (less than five minutes each) to hold students’ interest, and they provide visual instruction and narration to help kids follow along. Each section also includes exercises that let users test out what they're learning by creating code instructions, simple games, or other items.
If students are working independently, teachers can create an account and monitor their class to see which sections students have completed. With a paid subscription, teachers can also either check students' work or encourage them to contact the site's tutors for input. In fact, CodeHS was designed to provide everything a classroom teacher needs to support and deliver a high-quality computer science course in their school.
There are several ways to get access: Students can sign up with an access code provided by a teacher (based on a paid school membership) or get an individual membership. Four individual packages are available for a range of prices, from free to an ultra-premium membership with access to one-on-one tutoring. Each level of membership includes increasing access to learning modules and support.
While the program seems costly at first glance, the high-quality instruction is worth it. Lessons were created for beginners, so they're easy to understand. Because each section is broken down into individual lessons, students can learn at their own pace and track their progress on the site, helping them set and complete educational goals. The first module is especially accessible for beginners as students move Karel, the dog, around the screen, dropping balls using basic code. Kids will also have fun with the first results of their coding: retro games and simple art programs. Once they've mastered concepts, they can get creative and design their own games. Accessibility-wise, CodeHS is great: Content is neatly organized into tabs, and sections include visual examples and text to fully explain concepts.