CODECADEMY: HOUR OF CODE
CONCEPT: Learn the basics of coding in under an hour with this new app from the Codecademy website folks.
DELIVERY: Want to learn how to code? Want to understand what that last sentence actually means? Then Codecademy could be the app for you. Let's make one thng clear straight off the bat: Codecademy is not the same sort of app as previous intro to coders like Hopscotch or Do Ink. It's aimed at a slightly older level of student and enables them to gain an entry level understanding of basic programming and HTML. In fact the app acts as a taster to the concept and those seeking more can find a wealth of this type of learning on the Codecademy website.
Through this app, students will develop their knowledge of the vocabulary and procedures involved in writing actual code. Codecademy accomplishes this through a series of interactive mini-lessons that are split into sections such as variables, else/if statements and HTML itself. Each activity involves reading the information then inputting the relevant answers, either in free text form or by choosing from a pre-set bank.
The difficulty builds steadily and yet never gets too tough or confusing. The inclusion of instant feedback is also nice. Ultimately the app builds to a session where you code a simple piece of website HTML including a picture and short bio about yourself. There is also the option to allow push notifications as the developers promise future content to be added.
LIMITATIONS: It doesn't last long! It's also very minimalist in presentation and this will limit engagement levels. The fact that it also doesn't include the ability to practise what you learn in a more open setting rather than just filling in the blanks is also a shame.
CONCLUSION: Effective and somewhat engaging as a concept but as an app it is limited. Better to stick with the core site if this is the sort of thing you're looking for. 2/5
Introducing students to basic coding
Teaching about website design