Thursday, May 31, 2012

Code Avengers to the Rescue: Supporting Programming in Schools

As explained in my last post and in this video interview with HowToBecome.tv, the goal for CodeAvengers.com is to provide a super fun and effective resource for learning Computer Programming. In addition, Code Avengers aims to provide a tool that supports high school programming teachers.

Last year in New Zealand, computer science modules were introduced into our senior high school subject called digital technology. It seems that about half of our digital tech teachers have little if any programming experience, and are reluctant take on the new modules. That is until Code Avengers came along!

Code Avengers makes the teachers job easy. The system provides 2 views that give live feedback on students progress. The Summary View makes it easy for teachers to identify individuals that are struggling. The teacher can sort the list both alphabetically and based on progress.

The Progress View gives an overall picture of class progress through the course. It helps the teacher identify topics that the class need to spend extra time on.

What are you waiting for? Help you class become Coding Superheros with Code Avengers!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Code Avengers: High School programming the MARVELous way

Learning to code just got MARVELous @ CodeAvengers.com!

Code Avengers is an interactive online Javascript tutorial that aims to teach Computer Programming to High School students in the most fun and effective way possible. The site has been developed with a game like feel to help keep the attention of teenagers who struggle with finding time for homework but always make time for computer games. Code Avengers lessons include short code challenges, games and quizzes that teach and practice new concepts to ensure that the learner is retaining and understanding the material.

Code Avengers was created as a side project by New Zealand PhD student Michael Walmsley. His goal is to create effective learning resource with a gamified environment that makes learning fun and addictive--initially for web development but later for other subjects like math and finance.

Since going live on the 1st of April there has already been interest from over a dozen High Schools who are keen to use this as a resource in their classroom. Some initial feedback from teachers who have used the site personally are below:

Mark: “Love the site and the idea behind it. I would love to set my school up with this”

Malcolm: “This is EXACTLY the type of resource that should be made available to us!”

Jennifer: “I had a brief look at the site and it looks great. I enjoyed doing the first few tasks and will forward the site onto my Y12 Information Technology students as we are currently doing web design and some of them want / need to use javascript in their pages. Thanks for your hard work on this project and for making it so freely available”.

Julie: “Thank you so much Mike for developing these resources, this will be excellent for our students”.

Tim: “This is a nice package, and cleverly done! It's really valuable having the whole system in a web browser, as some schools find it very difficult to get software installed”

Corinna: “I have been trying out your program at home and I just wanted to let you know that I think it is amazing.”

The site contains a teacher's interface that gives immediate feedback on student progress which empowers the teacher to focus on the areas that students are struggling with as well as the individuals that need the most help. While the site was developed initially with the idea of helping High School students, Michael quickly found that anyone and everyone could benefit from using the style of lessons he has created.

Script your future with Code Avengers at http://www.codeavengers.com/

Any comments? Discuss and vote up on Hacker News?