Review by James Denby, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2019

Glitch

Powerful resource for dedicated coders not built for the classroom

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Arts

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
Grades 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.
9–12
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Pros: Huge community of coders sharing, remixing, and collaborating on apps and websites.

Cons: It's geared toward experienced coders and not well suited for learning in the classroom.

Bottom Line: If you're an experienced coding or computer science teacher, you'll find Glitch useful for connecting with others and finding inspiration.

If you're an intermediate level (or higher) high school coding or computer science teacher, use Glitch to find projects for students to remix, to get code for debugging, and to collaborate and share ideas. Your students will find a community of coders that are committed to sharing ideas and advice on all kinds of projects.

When Mozilla decided to phase out Mozilla Thimble (its code editor for learning to create webpages with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript), it partnered with Glitch. As a replacement for Thimble, Glitch doesn't quite cut it. Where Thimble was clearly focused on learning, Glitch's mission is much bigger, making the site better suited for specialist teachers.

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Glitch is a website for building, remixing, and sharing apps and websites (describing itself as being like SoundCloud for code). Users contribute projects and code for other people to use, modify, and debug. The site also facilitates collaboration and peer-to-peer support on coding projects of all types. A quick sampling of featured Glitch projects includes games, websites, bots, music, and art. Similarly, the community features a variety of coding languages as well. For people developing fully featured websites, Glitch offers a Building Blocks page with ready-made components to add functionality (e.g., a chat room). There's also a Learn to Code section that focuses on simple projects that people learning to code can use to build their skills.

A typical project on Glitch will allow a user to see, reuse, and or/remix the HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Pulling back the curtain on the code of apps and websites like this allows Glitch community members to build on existing work, customize projects, and extend the functionality of their own projects.

For most teachers, Glitch isn't likely to be very useful, because it's geared toward coders and programmers -- not teachers and students. Though you can learn a lot on Glitch, it's not a "learn to code" site but instead a very welcoming community for people who are already quite experienced. Despite the ability to see inside projects and remix code, most students would likely look at the existing work on Glitch and not really know where to start. For dedicated computer science or coding classes, however, Glitch could be an amazing resource. It's a springboard for building skills, connecting with experienced coders, and finding inspiration for web development.

 

Overall Rating

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

Glitch won't be appealing to students just learning to code, but for true code enthusiasts, it's potentially an exciting community.

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

This coding community isn't necessarily about teaching and learning; instead, teachers will find a hub for sharing resources and ideas.

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

Glitch will be overwhelming for newbies, though experienced teachers will at least find a community willing to help.


Common Sense Reviewer
James Denby Educator/Curriculum Developer

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