Saturday, December 14, 2013

Codecademy: Hour of Code review and significance

Codecademy has developed a mobile app to deliver a version of the Hour of Code initiative for CSEdWeek. This new development is significant: Codecademy is making its mobile debut! It also is spearheading initiatives introducing young people to code. Furthermore, it puts Codecademy easily accessible on mobile, which is often an on-and-off short interactions (unlike its website presence), and makes it a contender for your time. Competing with games and "less productive tasks", that is. See this useful CNN article for analysis

I was at one time the Codecademy girl, so I can't pass on the opportunity to write about my passion.

Summary review: this app is convenient, meant to be used on the go, zero experience required. It's Codecademy doing what it's best at teaching people to code by making it easy and fun, without the hassle of setting up. Learn coding *concepts* just got a whole lot easier. If you can use an iPhone, you can code.

Read about the mobile app and download it here on
Continue the education on the website later click here also on
Download from App Store right away use this
To access the app on iPad, be sure to search "codecademy" and change the filter to "iphone only" from "iPad only". This is the way to make all iPhone apps show on iPad.

  • Differentiating factor: a simple tap and code, or tap and learn approach. Students reach correct answers faster. Less frustration, and less need for full computer based research and workout
  • Of course no answer is ever free from Codecademy. Users still have to think and guess a bit. That's the part that Codecademy does the best: remove traditional computer science learning obstacles, but still make the lessons engaging, educational, and gamified with fun. 
  • De-myth: if you know how to use an iPhone you can code! And a lot of people can use iPhones. Codecademy is doing its best to get everyone to understand how to code.

  • Works out of the box: no need to log in.
  • JavaScript, the language of the web
  • iPhone ready: flat design, responsive works well visually on iPhone and iPad, tap and type features, tap and select 

  • Gamified
  • Push notification for new updates
  • Popup overlay displaying results of your code, i.e. console results
  • Multiple choices, there's a correct answer, no more frustrations
  • Walks through important basics

    • String, text, string concatenation
    • Printing
    • Calculations
    • Boolean true or false evaluation
    • Data types
    • Control Flow basics, if ... else ...
    • Variables
    • Functions
    • .... this is a living document and it will be updated. Even for experienced folks like myself I cannot get through codecademy's basic app in 15 minutes. It's indeed non-trivial.
  • Instant Feedback
Every person is different and has different learning styles. Codecademy may work for you, or not. Check out for Hour of Code +Hour of Code 2013  options on iPad, a mobile device.

President Obama's call to action.

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