Introducing classroom management to the Code Editor

Post Syndicated from Phil Howell original

I’m excited to announce that we’re developing a new set of Code Editor features to help school teachers run text-based coding lessons with their students.

Secondary school age learners in a computing classroom.

New Code Editor features for teaching

Last year we released our free Code Editor and made it available as an open source project. Right now we’re developing a new set of features to help schools use the Editor to run text-based coding lessons online and in-person.

The new features will enable educators to create coding activities in the Code Editor, share them with their students, and leave feedback directly on each student’s work. In a simple and easy-to-use interface, educators will be able to give students access, group them into classes within a school account, and quickly help with resetting forgotten passwords.

Example Code Editor feedback screen from an early prototype

We’re adding these teaching features to the Code Editor because one of the key problems we’ve seen educators face over the last few months has been the lack of an ideal tool to teach text-based coding in the classroom. There are some options available, but they can be cost-prohibitive for schools and educators. Our mission is to support young people to realise their full potential through the power of computing, and we believe that to tackle educational disadvantage, we need to offer high-quality tools and make them as accessible as possible. This is why we’ll offer the Code Editor and all its features to educators and students for free, forever.

A learner and educator at a laptop.

Alongside the new classroom management features, we’re also working on improved Python library support for the Code Editor, so that you and your students can get more creative and use the Editor for more advanced topics. We continue to support HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in the Editor too, so you can set website development tasks in the classroom.

Two learners at a laptop in a computing classroom.

Educators have already been incredibly generous in their time and feedback to help us design these new Code Editor features, and they’ve told us they’re excited to see the upcoming developments. Pete Dring, Head of Computing at Fulford School, participated in our user research and said on LinkedIn: “The class management and feedback features they’re working on at the moment look really promising.” Lee Willis, Head of ICT and Computing at Newcastle High School for Girls, also commented on the Code Editor: “We have used it and love it, the fact that it is both for HTML/CSS and then Python is great as the students have a one-stop shop for IDEs.”

Our commitment to you

  • Free forever: We will always provide the Code Editor and all of its features to educators and students for free.
  • A safe environment: Accounts for education are designed to be safe for students aged 9 and up, with safeguarding front and centre.
  • Privacy first: Student data collection is minimised and all collected data is handled with the utmost care, in compliance with GDPR and the ICO Children’s Code.
  • Best-practice pedagogy: We’ll always build with education and learning in mind, backed by our leading computing education research.
  • Community-led: We value and seek out feedback from the computing education community so that we can continue working to make the Code Editor even better for teachers and students.

Get started

We’re working to have the Code Editor’s new teaching features ready later this year. We’ll launch the setup journey sooner, so that you can pre-register for your school account as we continue to work on these features.

Before then, you can complete this short form to keep up to date with progress on these new features or to get involved in user testing.

A female computing educator with three female students at laptops in a classroom.

The Code Editor is already being used by thousands of people each month. If you’d like to try it, you can get started writing code right in your browser today, with zero setup.

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