Common Sense Review
Updated May 2014

Codecademy: Python

With support, kids can handle this popular and powerful language
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This module is part of the Website Codecademy.
Common Sense Rating 3
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  • Python is a versatile and powerful programming language.
  • The language is known for its easy-to-read code.
  • To help motivate, kids can earn badges for completing code projects.
  • The lessons feature plenty of Monty Python-related inside jokes – they're funny, if you get the reference.
  • Kids can learn to program a simple game.
David Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Director of academic technology
Common Sense Rating 3
How Can Teachers Use It?

Python was designed to create code that's easy to read and speedy to develop, and Codecademy's Python lessons work hard to help learners on both accounts. Because Python shows up in places as divergent as Google and even in some top video games, learning it is a great first step that will appeal to kids. Like the other Codecademy lessons, the Python training would work well as homework or as an independent, in-class project.

However, it's important to know that some of the lessons here assume a higher level of math skill than may be necessary to learn the basics of the language. And when the code doesn't run, the process of figuring out why can become frustrating. Even as learning to code can be a personal journey, it's important to scaffold students' experience here with both peer and teacher support. Allow your students who are less adept in math to collaborate with a more capable peer, if necessary. Once these lessons are over, the fun has only begun. Have a project ready to pitch at students so they can practice their newly acquired Python skills. As with learning any new language, practice will make perfect.

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