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Pros: Lessons are clear and highly interactive; kids are guided step by step through each exercise.
Cons: Hints and written materials provide excellent support, but the live chat feature doesn’t seem to always be an option.
Bottom Line: LearnStreet offers smart, structured programming lessons and admirable support to help kids learn independently while teachers oversee their progress.
When you sign up for a teacher account, you'll be able to set up a LearnStreet classroom and add students' email addresses. If students don't have email accounts (or don't want to share them), the site will provide a class code to enroll with. You can create your own coding course curriculum or use one of the site's suggested versions. Coding assignments were designed with computer science, math, and science classes in mind; teachers can access more than 150 hours of content, including lessons, practice exercises, and coding projects.
You can also track students' progress on the site. Detailed statistics show individual students' performances, including a feature that highlights any areas where the student may be falling behind the rest of the class. And more features may be on the way: The beta version of the educator site premiered in July 2013; a full version is expected by August.
Editor's Note: LearnStreet has closed and is no longer available.
Teens will need to commit some time to finish the tutorials and be able to code independently: According to LearnStreet, courses, on average, take from three to five days to complete. However, they’ll receive badges as they finish sections, which provides some encouragement, and the lesson instruction is written in a friendly, supportive tone that often prompts them to continue. (The system responds to correct answers with chipper statements like, “Great job!”)
Unlike some other coding instruction sites, LearnStreet offers a significant amount of personalized attention and feedback. The courses were created for complete beginners and feature helpful tools, including written information about the concepts that are covered and chat support. Administrators aren’t available 24/7, but if they’re offline, users can email questions and are told they’ll get a quick response.