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Pros: Allows for quick creation, using students' own photos and videos for built-in engagement and a personal touch.
Cons: Videos take a while to upload, and there's an assumption of some prior knowledge of coding without much introductory help.
Bottom Line: Women-created platform expands the traditional scope of coding to visual elements students interact with online everyday.
Teachers can use Vidcode as an independent assignment for students to explore coding. Assign projects on Vidcode to assess learning -- e.g., asking students to make a stop-motion video of a topic you studied in class. Or, use Vidcode as a go-to tool to boost your beginning coders' skills with Java and HTML5. Vidcode would also fit perfectly in a STEM or STEAM classroom to build skills for student creation, computer science, and digital media writ large. If teachers want to keep going with the program, there are pay versions available with more support and advanced projects.
Vidcode is a site created by women that aims to get tweens and teens excited about coding by emphasizing creativity and social media culture and expression. Users can upload their own photos and videos and use premade effects to create projects such as stop-motion videos, music videos, memes, and much more, all while learning about the code that makes these things possible. When users create their accounts, they can choose to link their Facebook or Instagram accounts to grab photos and videos to use in their projects.
When students log in, they'll see two screens in a project: a lesson on the left and a space to input code on the right. Students can experiment with code, and the lesson screen offers hints on how to change the coding to see subtle and dramatic changes occur in the project. Students can then share their projects and videos with their friends or teacher, making the coding experience a social one.
The lessons assume some knowledge of basic coding terms, so very beginning users may need a little more guidance along the way. Unfortunately, basic coding info isn't easy to come by on the website. More help functions, a user guide, a glossary, or the ability to ask questions to a person in real time would be helpful improvements to an already powerful learning experience.