Website review by James Denby, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2019

AWS Educate

Amazon delivers highly relevant but uninspired CS courses

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Not yet reviewed Write a review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
7–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
College & Career Prep
Great for

Take a look inside

6 images

Pros: Incredible depth and breadth of content.

Cons: The materials aren't very engaging, there's little opportunity for collaboration, and setup can be difficult.

Bottom Line: There's lots to offer here, but it's best used with self-paced, independent learners.

For teachers used to other computer science or coding learning platforms, AWS Educate will seem surprisingly difficult to set up. Once everything is up and running, however, it will likely be appealing either for small groups of committed students or as a complement to existing learning materials in the classroom. It could work well as homework or independent self-paced learning, too.

AWS Educate is very focused on the cloud-based services offered by Amazon to businesses around the world. At times this feels a bit like they are promoting their own services, but, because AWS is a leader in the industry, students will definitely be learning relevant material.

Continue reading Show less

AWS Educate is Amazon's computer science (CS) curriculum and content platform focusing on cloud-related learning. It's a huge umbrella for a wide assortment of topics ranging from cloud computing to artificial intelligence and machine learning. While initially created for adults, it has recently become available for teachers and students in middle and high school. Course content is designed for students to do independently in a self-paced learning environment. Teachers are able to select courses and create a dashboard for assigning work and monitoring student progress.

Students progress through different modules that include text, videos, infographics, and quizzes, and accumulate badges as they go. Three module types (Cloud Explorer, Cloud Inventor, and Cloud Builder) represent different levels of exploration and learning, with Cloud Builder being the most complex. Each quiz is a checkpoint to assess understanding, and in more advanced modules and courses, students also do hands-on activities and submit them for assessment. 

AWS Educate certainly offers a lot of content-area learning opportunities (few resources out there go as far or as deep for younger students). But for most students, this won't be an engaging learning environment. Assignments, videos, and readings follow a traditional "watch/read and take a quiz" method of teaching that won't likely be interesting to most kids. But for students with a strong personal interest and a fair amount of persistence, AWS Educate could be a great way to learn about the basics of cloud computing, the role of data and machine learning, and the different ways that cloud computing (specifically Amazon's own cloud-based services) can be used to build apps that incorporate user data.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

AWS Educate will likely appeal to really committed students. For others, the format will not be very interesting.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

AWS Educate relies on a traditional method of teaching involving watching or reading, then taking a quiz. It's not innovative, but there's a lot to learn.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

There's a broad range of content to support learning, but students must be fairly independent.


Common Sense reviewer
James Denby Educator/Curriculum Developer

Community Rating

No one has reviewed this tool yet. Be the first to share your thoughts.

Add your rating

Privacy Rating

This tool has not yet been rated by our privacy team. Learn more about our privacy ratings