Review by Paul Cancellieri, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2012

Codecademy

Terrific hands-on coding practice with live feedback

Subjects & skills
Subjects
N/A

Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • College & Career Prep
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
7–12
Great for:
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (36 Reviews)

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Pros: These perfectly calibrated lessons are a fantastic, free way to teach kids to build apps and websites from scratch.

Cons: 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.

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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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.

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.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

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?

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?

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.


Common Sense Reviewer
Paul Cancellieri Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 36 reviews) (36 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Chris R. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Immaculate Conception School
Towson, United States
Great tool and easy to understand.
For this website, I would highly recommend it. I knew nothing about coding before I started and before my students started. I now have already gained skills in both HTML and CSS and am able to understand and read code. I caution using this in middle school as you may as well tell the students the name of the lesson is Hacking 101. I feel this way about all coding websites. Codecademy is a great tool to use in the high school level in programming classes and computer classes. ...
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