May 5, 2016
There is a huge push right now to get kids learning to code at younger and younger ages. One day it might be as important as learning to read. And when it comes down to it, it is another form of literacy. It’s incredible how much of what we look at, read, and interact with on a daily basis lives in code — right down to what you’re reading here. So of course the more kids who learn to code early (when their brains are at their spongiest), the better the world will be for all of us.
That’s why San Francisco-based CodeCombat has launched a learn-to-code program for classrooms. The program is so helpful and interactive that you don’t even need a teacher with a background in CS to teach it. The tool gets kids coding from day one in a game-like environment. The curriculum is designed to cover more programming skills than any other curriculum. It covers all levels and even gets advanced enough to even meet the requirements for the AP CS exam and elite programs such as a Stanford undergraduate computer science course.
“Until now, CS classes have been viewed by students as boring and difficult – I know, because I took my first CS class as a freshman in college, and most people in the class either dropped it or failed it,” said CodeCombat co-founder Nick Winter in a statement. “We designed CodeCombat to be first and foremost really engaging for students, because if they aren’t engaged, they won’t learn.”
CodeCombat recently announced that it has closed a $2 million seed round of funding from Third Kind Venture Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Allen & Company. The funding was primarily used to help CodeCombat finish its new classroom offering, which launched on May 2.
The new classroom tool was beta tested by more than 25,000 students in grades 3-12.One of the schools that tested it was Gage Park High in Chicago.
“Teaching computer science is challenging because you have to get beyond the abstract and rather dry learning material available, and there is no single standard curriculum.” said Marvin Evins, computer science instructor at Gage Park, in a statement, “I’ve evaluated many programs, and none are as good as CodeCombat. It provides my students with a very engaging framework that also maps to important academic standards. My students love CodeCombat because it makes learning to code fun! I especially love seeing my low-performing students succeeding and assisting other students using the skills they master.”
Schools can check out a free trial of CodeCombat by visiting their website.
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