What it is: We have some students at Anastasis Academy that are CODE crazy! They are really excited to learn how to code (we’ve used Codecademy) and practice with friends. Squad is a free collaborative code editor. With Squad, students can access the code they are writing anywhere there is an Internet connection. This means that students can chat and edit files together no matter where they are. Squad constantly saves the workspace so that they are available even when multiple machines are logged in. Students can see what teammates are working on, offer recommendations and even work simultaneously on a document. Even better? If your students have a coding question (and you, like me, can’t answer) they can copy and paste the code in the workspace’s share URL and anyone with the URL can get in to help. All of the files created on Squad belong to your students. They can open (and save) local files, access a remote host via FTP/SFTP or grab a file from Dropbox. The chat feature is searchable so that students can go back and learn from past mistakes or suggestions.
How to integrate Squad into the classroom: Do you have students who want to learn how to code? What better way for them to learn and practice than together?! At Anastasis, we have Crave classes. These are classes that run once a week that students get to elect to take…something they “crave” learning. One of our crave classes last year was learning to code. I “taught” it. No, I don’t really know how to code. We learned together! You don’t have to be an expert to help your students explore their passions and interests. We used Codecademy to learn together. One of the limitations of Codecademy is that there is no where to just practice together after you have learned a skill. Squad would be the perfect place for students to explore and practice together.
Older or more advanced students might want to create a club or work together to show what they know in another subject by putting their coding skills to use.
Tips: The free version of Squad limits students to 3 collaborators and 1 workspace, this should be plenty for your beginners!
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Squad in your classroom.
What it is: Codecademy
makes learning to code a snap. It is an interactive, fun way to learn coding one step at a time. The site will prepare students to program websites, games and apps. Learn independently or with friends, keeping track of their progress and comparing it with yours. Students can track and share their progress to see how much they have learned and to stay motivated. The platform could not be simpler to use and after just a few lessons…I’m starting to really understand and get the hang of programming. I think that is pretty impressive considering that I have never had a lesson before now (not entirely true, a few years ago I went through the learn C in 24 hours course…I could follow along but didn’t really understand what I was doing.)!
How to integrate Codecademy into the classroom:
With the popularity of apps, I have students who are just itching to learn how to program. It is great to see boys and girls of all ages excited about learning how to code. Codecademy
is something that you can use to learn right along with your students. You don’t have to be the expert because Codecademy
guides everyone step-by-step through lessons and lets everyone move at a pace that is comfortable to them. If your students can read, they can learn to code with Codecademy
. Today, a fourth grader at Anastasis started going through Codecademy
lessons and quickly surpassed me. His excitement was evident as he figured out variables in lines of code, how to set off an alert or command. What I love about using Codecademy
as a class or school is that students can work together, encourage and challenge each other. When students hit certain lessons, they unlock new badges to display.
obvious use is to learn how to code. For students who are passionate about gaming, websites, and programming this is a great sandbox to learn in. Students get immediate feedback about the code they are writing. Start a class club where students learn how to code together. Use some time each week to learn to code with students, you could set the goal of learning to code together over the course of the year.
has created a new site called Code Year. Make your New Year’s resolution to learn to code and sign up for Code Year
. Each week, you will get a new interactive lesson delivered to you via email. By the end of the year you (or your students) will be lean, mean coding machines! So cool! I’m taking the challenge with several interested students and am looking forward to learning something new this year!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Code Year in your classroom!
What it is: Binary Game is a fun Tetris like game where students can learn about and practice binary numbers. Students are given a target number that they must match by adjusting the 1′s and 0′s. My fellow computer teacher tried to teach me about binary numbers last year with a binary clock he has (yes we are geeks!) but I didn’t fully understand until playing this game. Students will have the concept down in no time!
How to integrate Binary Game into the classroom: This is a great little game to fill in those extra minutes in the computer/tech classroom. The Binary game helps students understand the concept of Binary Numbers and could be a great introduction to a more in-depth study of computing.
Tips: This site runs in Flash, make sure your player is up to date.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Binary Game in your classroom.
What it is: The Animalia website is based on the popular book and television series written and illustrated by Graeme Base. The website is just as impressive as the book with amazing illustrations and activities for students. On the Animalia website, students are introduced to the characters of Animalia, the goal of the Animalia site, Animalia news, and games and activities. The Animalia site brings students on a wonderful adventure where their goal is to collect all of the “core spores” to restore the Core of Animalia. Students collect the core spores by going on several adventures where they will play learning games, discover, and follow directions. Games and activities include logic puzzles, memory skills, code cracking, map reading, and listening skills. The listening game is called Toucan Talk (which I learned about on Larry Ferrazlo’s blog) and asks students to listen to a message in the wrong order, and change the order of words or sounds so that the message makes sense. The site is extremely interactive. Students will love becoming part of the adventure.
How to integrate Animalia into the classroom: Animalia is like a giant online scavenger hunt where students solve problems to advance in the game. This site would be a great one to use to teach following written and oral directions, logical thinking, and problem solving skills. These aren’t skills that we generally focus on in isolation but the Animalia site does a wonderful job of weaving a story around a problem and inviting students along on an adventure to solve the problem. Because students are problem solving, this would be an excellent site for students to work on collaboratively as a team. Students can be split into teams to see who can collect all of the “core spores” first through problem solving. What I love about watching my students interact with each other on this site, is the way that one team would solve a problem and then teach another team how they did it. Nothing better than kids teaching kids! For younger students, the game could be completed as a whole class with a projector or interactive whiteboard. The clues and games will have to be more teacher directed but your students will quickly catch on and be ready to play!
Tips: This site is highly interactive including video clips, highly interactive games, and sounds. You will need a high speed connection for this site. Bring on the bandwidth!
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Animalia in your classroom.