Last week I presented at the QSITE 2015 Conference in Townsville. I attended a couple of presentation/workshops that got me coding in Python. Oh it felt so great to be coding again! 🙂
I got home all excited and started showing my 12 year old son how to code Python in IDLE. He liked it but it wasn’t “fun”! So I did some searching on-line and I found CodeCombat. My son LOVES it and I am having fun teaching him along the way. I would definitely consider using CodeCombat as an introduction to programming (you can choose from a range of programming languages). I think it would work well as a 2-3 week introduction and then proceed to more complex environments.
- Teachers can create an account and add their class students. Teachers can see individual student progress throughout the game. I haven’t done this but I will if I can incorporate it into my teaching.
- It’s online so your students can continue the game at home. My 12 year old is “hooked” and so I can imagine he would want to continue playing at home if he were introduced to this in a 60-minute High School lesson.
- There are lots of hints and a selection of available methods are displayed on the screen. I like how the code is ‘stepped through’ as the games is ‘tested’ -> see the image below for an example of this.
- It progresses through basic programming skills to more advanced topics.
- You (or your child) could do this alone; however, I believe it would be more powerful or useful as a learning tool in class (or with a cool parent that understands code too). An example of this is shown below where my son created ‘correct’ code which was more complex than expected or required by the game. His code did not “succeed” because it wasn’t what the system/game was looking for. My son got frustrated and so I read the “Guide” and realised what was needed; I also explained to him that his code was awesome and explained how there would be certain coded checks in place to “succeed” or progress through the game. This was a really great way to explain/discuss how these types of games/tools are made.