Tag Archives: Code Editor

Introducing classroom management to the Code Editor

Post Syndicated from Phil Howell original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/code-editor-classroom-management/

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.

The post Introducing classroom management to the Code Editor appeared first on Raspberry Pi Foundation.

An integrated learning experience for young people

Post Syndicated from Joanne Vincent original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/code-editor-integration/

We’re currently trialling the full integration of our Code Editor in some of the projects on our Projects site, with the aim of providing a seamless experience for young learners. Our Projects site provides hundreds of free coding projects with step-by-step instructions for young people to use at school, in Code Clubs and CoderDojo clubs, and at home. When learners make text-based programming projects in our Python and web design project paths, they use our Code Editor to write and run code in a web browser.

A young person at a computer in a classroom.

Our new integrated learning experience allows young people to follow the project instructions and work in the Code Editor in a single window. By providing a simpler workspace, where learners do not need to switch between windows to read instructions and input code, we aim to reduce cognitive load and make it easier for young people to learn.

How the new integrated experience works

In the integrated project workspace, learners can access the project instructions, coding area, and output (where they can see what they have made) all in the same view. We have reorganised the project guides into short, easy-to-follow steps made up of simple instructions, including code snippets and modelled examples, for learners to work through to create their projects. The project guides feature fresh designs for different types of learning content, such as instruction steps, concept steps, code snippets, tips, and debugging help.

A screenshot of the new Code Editor.

We have also optimised this learning experience for young people using mobiles and tablets. On mobile devices, a new ‘Steps’ tab appears alongside the ‘Code’ and ‘Output’ tabs, enabling learners to easily navigate to the project guide and follow the steps to make their projects.

Try out our new learning experience

We are testing our new integrated learning experience as a beta version in three projects: 

  • Hello world (part of our ‘Introduction to Python’ project path) 
  • Target practice (part of our ‘Introduction to Python’ project path) 
  • Anime expressions (part of our ‘Introduction to web development’ project path) 

In each of these projects, young people can choose to complete the original version of the project, with the project instructions and Code Editor in separate windows, or click the button on the project page to try out the new integrated learning experience.

A screenshot of the new Code Editor.

We’d love to hear how your young learners get on with this new integrated experience. Try it out in the three projects above and share your feedback with us here.

Code Editor developments have been made possible with generous support from the Cisco Foundation.

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Code Editor update: Support for HTML and mobile devices 

Post Syndicated from Mel Farrington original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/html-code-editor/

Earlier this year, we launched our Code Editor, a free online tool to help make learning text-based programming simple and accessible for kids age 9 and up. We focus on supporting the needs of young people who are learning programming at school, in Code Clubs and CoderDojos, and at home.

A young coder using the Code Editor.

Today, we have two exciting updates to share: support for web page projects with HTML/CSS, and an improved mobile and tablet experience.

What’s the Code Editor?

Learners can use the Code Editor to write and run code in a web browser without installing any additional software. The Editor is currently available as a beta version, and we’ve already received really positive comments: 

“The Editor looks really nice! I have tried the Python part, and it is intuitive and concise. My little program worked no problem, and I am sure the Editor will be easy, intuitive, and quick to learn for the young [learners].”

— Volunteer in the CoderDojo community

Introducing HTML and CCS in the Code Editor 

The Code Editor now supports the HTML and CSS web development languages, giving young people the ability to create and preview their own websites directly in the Editor interface. Learners can have their code and the preview panel side by side, and they can also preview their websites in a separate, larger tab.

A web project in the Code Editor.

We have embedded the Editor in our ‘Introduction to web‘ path on the Projects site. The path contains six HTML and CSS projects for beginners and helps them create fun websites like the ones shown here.

We want the Code Editor to be safe, age-appropriate, and suitable for use in classrooms or coding clubs. With this in mind, we have excluded certain functions, like being able to add links to external websites in the code. Rather than enabling image uploads, we provide a library of images when projects in our free learning paths contain images, in order to support multimedia projects safely.

A web project in the Code Editor.

Whether users are coding in Python or HTML/CSS, the Editor offers accessibility options so you can easily switch settings between light and dark mode, and between small, medium, and large text size. The text size feature is useful for people with visual impairments, as well as for educators who want to demonstrate something to a group of learners.

Improved experience for mobile and tablet devices

Our Code Editor now offers a new and improved experience for users of mobile and tablet devices. This improves access for learners in classrooms where tablets are used, and in low- and middle-income countries, where mobile phones are commonly used for digital learning.

A web project in the Code Editor.

The Editor now includes: 

  • A clearer and simpler navigation for small-screen devices
  • Separate Menu, Code and Output/Preview tabs
  • The same features on mobile/tablet devices as on desktop of laptop computers, such as responsive panels and the option to open HTML/CSS projects in a new tab

Try the Code Editor today

We’re continuing to develop the Code Editor and have more improvements planned. If you would like to try it out and provide us with your feedback, we’d love to hear what you think of our latest updates. 

Code Editor developments have been made possible with generous support from Endless and the Cisco Foundation.

The post Code Editor update: Support for HTML and mobile devices  appeared first on Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Our Code Editor is open source

Post Syndicated from Phil Howell original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/code-editor-open-source/

A couple of months ago we announced that you can test the online text-based Code Editor we’re building to help young people aged 7 and older learn to write code. Now we’ve made the code for the Editor open source so people can repurpose and contribute to it.

The interface of the beta version of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Code Editor.

How can you use the Code Editor?

You and your learners can try out the Code Editor in the first two projects of our ‘Intro to Python’ path. We’ve included a feedback form for you to let us know what you think about the Editor.

  • The Editor lets you run code straight in the browser, with no setup required.
  • It makes getting started with text-based coding easier thanks to its simple and intuitive interface.
  • If you’re logged into your Raspberry Pi Foundation account, your code in the Editor is automatically saved.
  • If you’re not logged in, your code changes persist for the session, so you can refresh or close the tab without losing your work.
  • You can download your code to your computer too.

Since the Editor lets learners save their code using their Raspberry Pi Foundation account, it’s easy for them to build on projects they’ve started in the classroom or at home, or bring a project they’ve started at home to their coding club.

Three learners working at laptops.

Python is the first programming language our Code Editor supports because it’s popular in schools, CoderDojos, and Code Clubs, as well as in industry. We’ll soon be adding support for web development languages (HTML/CSS).

A text output in the beta version of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Code Editor.

Putting ease of use and accessibility front and centre

We know that starting out with new programming tools can be tricky and add to the cognitive load of learning new subject matter itself. That’s why our Editor has a simple and accessible user interface and design:

  • You can easily find key functions, such as how to write and run code, how to save or download your code, and how to check your code.
  • You can switch between dark and light mode.
  • You can enlarge or reduce the text size in input and output, which is especially useful for people with visual impairments and for educators and volunteers who want to demonstrate something to a group of learners.

We’ll expand the Editor’s functionalities as we go. For example, at the moment we’re looking at how to improve the Editor’s user interface (UI) for better mobile support.

If there’s a feature you think would help the Editor become more accessible and more suitable for young learners, or make it better for your classroom or club, please let us know via the feedback form.

The open-source code for the Code Editor

Our vision is that every young person develops the knowledge, skills, and confidence to use digital technologies effectively, and to be able to critically evaluate these technologies and confidently engage with technological change. We’re part of a global community that shares that vision, so we’ve made the Editor available as an open-source project. That means other projects and organisations focussed on helping people learn about coding and digital technologies can benefit from the work.

How did we build the Editor? An overview

To support the widest possible range of learners, we’ve designed the Code Editor application to work well on constrained devices and low-bandwidth connections. Safeguarding, accessibility, and data privacy are also key considerations when we build digital products at the Foundation. That’s why we decided to design the front end of the Editor to work in a standalone capacity, with Python executed through Skulpt, an entirely in-browser implementation of Python, and code changes persisted in local storage by default. Learners have the option of using a Raspberry Pi Foundation account to save their work, with changes then persisted via calls to a back end application programming interface (API).

As safeguarding is always at the core of what we do, we only make features available that comply with our safeguarding policies as well as the ICO’s age-appropriate design code. We considered supporting functionality such as image uploads and code sharing, but at the time of writing have decided to not add these features given that, without proper moderation, they present risks to safeguarding.

There’s an amazing community developing a wealth of open-source libraries. We chose to build our text-editor interface using CodeMirror, which has out-of-the-box mobile and tablet support and includes various useful features such as syntax highlighting and keyboard shortcuts. This has enabled us to focus on building the best experience for learners, rather than reinventing the wheel.

Diving a bit more into the technical details:

  • The UI front end is built in React and deployed using Cloudflare Pages
  • The API back end is built in Ruby on Rails
  • The text-editor panel uses CodeMirror, which has best-in-class accessibility through mobile device and screen-reader support, and includes functionality such as syntax highlighting, keyboard shortcuts, and autocompletion
  • Python functionality is built using Skulpt to enable in-browser execution of code, with custom extensions built to support our learning content
  • Project code is persisted through calls to our back end API using a mix of REST and GraphQL endpoints
  • Data is stored in PostgreSQL, which is hosted on Heroku along with our back end API

Accessing the open-source code

You can find out more about our Editor’s code for both the UI front end and API back end in our GitHub readme and contributions documentation. These kick-starter docs will help you get up and running faster:

The Editor’s front end is licensed as permissively as possible under the Apache Licence 2.0, and we’ve chosen to license the back end under the copyleft AGPL V3 licence. Copyleft licences mean derived works must be licensed under the same terms, including making any derived projects also available to the community.

We’d greatly appreciate your support with developing the Editor further, which you can give by:

  • Providing feedback on our code or raising a bug as a GitHub Issue in the relevant repository.
  • Submitting contributions by raising a pull request against the relevant repository.
    • On the back end repository we’ll ask you to allow the Raspberry Pi Foundation to reserve the right to re-use your contribution.
    • You’ll retain the copyright for any contributions on either repository.
  • Sharing feedback on using the Editor itself through the feedback form.

Our work to develop and publish the Code Editor as an open-source project has been funded by Endless. We thank them for their generous support.

If you are interested in partnering with us to fund this key work, or you are part of an organisation that would like to make use of the Code Editor, please reach out to us via email.

The post Our Code Editor is open source appeared first on Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Test our new Code Editor for young people

Post Syndicated from Phil Howell original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/code-editor-beta-testing/

We are building a new online text-based Code Editor to help young people aged 7 and older learn to write code. It’s free and designed for young people who attend Code Clubs and CoderDojos, students in schools, and learners at home.

The interface of the beta version of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Code Editor.
The Code Editor interface

At this stage of development, the Code Editor enables learners to:

  • Write and run Python code right in their browser, with no setup required. The interface is simple and intuitive, which makes getting started with text-based coding easier.
  • Save their code using their Raspberry Pi Foundation account. We want learners to easily build on projects they start in the classroom at home, or bring a project they’ve started at home to their coding club.
A young person at a CoderDojo uses the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Code Editor.

We’ve chosen Python as the first programming language our Code Editor supports because it is popular in schools, CoderDojos, and Code Clubs. Many educators and young people like Python because they see it as similar to the English language. It is often the text-based language young people learn when they take their first steps away from a block-based programming environment, such as Scratch

Python is also widely used by professional programmers and usually tops at least one of the industry-standard indexes that ranks programming languages.

We will be adding support for web development languages (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) to the Editor in the near future.

We’re also planning to add features such as project sharing and collaboration, which we know young people will love. We want the Editor to be safe, accessible, and age-appropriate. As safeguarding is always at the core of what we do, we’ll only make new features available once we’ve ensured they comply with the ICO’s age-appropriate design code and our safeguarding policies.

Test the Code Editor and tell us what you think

We are inviting you to test the Code Editor as part of what we call the beta phase of development. As the Editor is still in development, some things might not look or work as well as we’d like — and this is why we need your help. 

A text output in the beta version of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's Code Editor.
Text output in the Code Editor

We’d love you to try the Editor out and let us know what worked well for you, what didn’t work well, and what you’d like to see next.

You can now try out the Code Editor in the first two projects of our ‘Intro to Python’ path. We’ve included a feedback form for you to let us know which project you tried, and what you think of the Editor. We’d love to hear from you.

Your feedback helps us decide what to do next. Based on what learners, educators, volunteers, teachers, and parents tell us, we will make the improvements to the Editor that matter most to the young people we aim to support.

Where next for the Code Editor?

One of our long-term goals is to engage millions of young people in learning about computing and how to create with digital technologies. We’re developing the Code Editor with three main aims in mind.

1. Supporting young people’s learning journeys

We aim to build the Code Editor so it:

  • Suits beginners and also supports them as their confidence and independence grows, so they can take on their own coding projects in a familiar environment
  • Helps learners to transition from block-based to text-based, informed by our deep understanding of pedagogy and computing education
  • Brings together projects instructions and code editing into a single interface so that young people do not have to switch screens, which makes coding easier

2. Removing barriers to accessing computing education

Our work on the Code Editor will:

  • Ensure it works well on mobile and tablet devices, and low-cost computers including the Raspberry Pi 4 2GB
  • Support localisation and translation, so we can tailor the Editor for the needs of young people all over the world

3. Making learning to program engaging for more young people

We want to offer a Code Editor that:

  • Enables young people to build a vast variety of projects because it supports graphic user interface output and supplies images and sprites for use in multimedia projects

We’re also planning on making the Editor available as an open source project so that other projects and organisations focussed on helping people learn to code can benefit. More on this soon.

Our work on the Code Editor has been generously funded by the Algorand Foundation and Endless, and we thank them for their generous support. If you are interested in partnering with us to fund this key work, please reach out to us via email.

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