How I Use It
My school hasn't had a technology program in a few years, and I got the 8th graders set up on Code.org to begin teaching them how to write programs and understand the fundamentals of programming.
The best part about Code.org is that the kids can move at their own speed. Those who take to it quickly can move through the levels, and those who need to take their time are free to do so. The class managment / teacher dashboard is easy to navigate, and actually lets you see what you kids are doing as they would have seen it on the screen; this way if a kid is stuck on one concept you can see where they're stuck and tailor instruction to their needs.
The hardest part was getting the students to slow down and read the directions, watch the videos, and look at the hints. When we had whole class time I was able to show the intro and concept videos on a Smart Board for all to see, but once kids started moving ahead or lagging behind it became difficult to make sure that everyone was watching the videos to learn the concepts before trying the levels.
I really like this tool. The teacher dashboard is an incredible tool, and they make learning code fun for the students.
Moving forward I would give kids some sort of pre-assessment and split them into groups. I would put the lower functioning students on this site, and move higher functioning students to other sites that are a little more intense.
The only feature I really wish was embedded into this site is the ability to print out individualized progress reports for each students. You can print whole class, but I would love to show the kids a personalized report of how they're doing.