Common Sense Review
Updated May 2012


Terrific hands-on coding practice with live feedback
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Common Sense Rating 5
  • From the very first page, you see the simplicity of coding.
  • Lessons are organized into tracks by purpose and language.
  • Each lesson includes a place to practice and offers live feedback.
  • Kids get questions answered in the forum where other users chime in.
  • Advanced users can even offer to teach others.
These perfectly calibrated lessons are a fantastic, free way to teach kids to build apps and websites from scratch.
High-level reading and processing skills are required.
Bottom Line
In this excellent coding application, in-game practice and real-time guidance crack open the world of programming and turn your students into whiz kids.
Paul Cancellieri
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 5
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 5

Kids jump right in and stay involved with well-paced instruction, live feedback, and tips to take things further. The hands-on experience with real-time results is key.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 5

The perfect way to teach programming languages, this smart program explains commands and provides live guidance and feedback while kids practice them.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Feedback and tutorials are fully integrated into every lesson. There's no dedicated help section, but social features let users seek help and code together on projects.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Codecademy will be useful for more advanced students; lessons are most appropriate for kids with basic computer knowledge and strong reading skills. In the classroom, kids can work alone or, when they've completed a track, collaborate to solve complex problems and build more sophisticated applications. The projects are a perfect simulation of a computer engineer's working environment. Overall, Codecademy is a fabulous introduction to a fast-growing career path as well as skills kids can use to build websites and applications.

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What's It Like?

In Codecademy, older kids and teens write computer code. They set their own pace through lessons on every major modern programming language, including PHP, Javascript, Python, Ruby, HTML, and CSS. First, they create an account using an email address or an existing Facebook or Google account. A mini-lesson shows them how easy coding can be. Then, lessons are divided by "track," based on the purpose of each coding language. Kids follow their interests to learn commands and syntax, and as they practice they see their code translate into output right on the screen. They even earn points for consistent effort as well as mastery.

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Is It Good For Learning?

The self-paced design makes Codecademy a perfect extension of classroom activities for students ready for more. The overall design is slick and easy to use, and the lessons expertly demonstrate the tools and provide immediate feedback as kids experiment. The lessons have the trifecta of perfectly paced instruction, live feedback as kids execute commands, and tips for taking things further. In short order, given the level of knowledge provided in advanced tracks and lessons, students should be able to build web apps and design interactive webpages and games.

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