Codecademy

Common Sense Media says

Smart site gives teens hands-on experience with coding.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Coding can be intimidating for people who've never done it. Codecademy's approach demystifies the process and sends the message that anyone can learn to code by putting in the work.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Visitors have to provide an email address to sign up. Profiles can be set to public or private. Users can share their accomplishments on Facebook and Twitter.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that CODECADEMY teaches users how to code in several programming languages by providing interactive exercises organized into lessons. There's no content that would be iffy for younger kids, but the reading level and skills taught are challenging.

 

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • logic
  • problem solving

Self-Direction

  • initiative

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids jump right in and stay involved with well-paced instruction, live feedback, and tips to take things further. The hands-on experience with real-time results is key.

Learning Approach

The perfect way to teach programming languages, this smart program explains commands and provides live guidance and feedback while kids practice them.

Support

Feedback and tutorials are fully integrated into every lesson. There's no dedicated help section, but social features let users seek help and code together on projects.

What kids can learn

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • logic
  • problem solving

Self-Direction

  • initiative

Collaboration

  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Teens can learn the computer programming languages JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, which can be used to create web apps, games, and websites. They'll need to flex their problem-solving muscles, since one stray character can throw off a whole program. Exercises include hints and a link to a glossary and FAQs for that topic. This helps prevent difficult tasks from becoming frustrating, but an additional "cheat sheet" or review exercises might be useful -- novice coders may find it difficult to retain information after they've completed a lesson. Otherwise, Codecademy is an innovative learning tool in a user-friendly format.

This Learning Rating review was written by Susan Yudt

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Designed to introduce newbies to the world of coding -- writing computer programs -- CODECADEMY provides interactive lessons on JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, with plans to expand to additional programming languages. Lessons are organized into three tracks, and users earn points and badges as they complete each exercise, which can be shared on Facebook or Twitter. Those who are already well-versed in the world of coding can also create their own lessons. Codecademy plans to expand on its social features so that users can find their friends on the site.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Codecademy does a great job getting users to overcome the first obstacle to learning: getting started. Visitors to the site can immediately try out a simple, fun programming exercise. After a few more lessons -- and a confidence boost -- they're asked to sign up. By focusing on the hands-on experience, Codecademy keeps lessons engaging rather than didactic. On the other hand, users who don't have much coding experience might want a little more background information about the programming languages and what they can do.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how technology can help students learn. What did you find useful on this site? How might you improve it?

  • Who are the people working behind the scenes to make computer programs and games? How is building a game different from playing one?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Codecademy was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byGraceNut January 24, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Codecademy is Fantastic

As an extensive user of Codecademy, I have been thoroughly satisfied with the service they provide. It is in their terms of service that the site is for individuals 13yrs and up, which is not something that they enforce, and from my experience interacting with the staff, I don't believe they really feel that it is an issue. But, to be a completely legal user, you should be at least thirteen years old. Not only do they have an excellent method of teaching, they also have moderators for the Q&A Forums that do a wonderful job of responding to users that are having issues, as well as keeping the Forums clear of spam and unwholesome content. I very highly recommend the site, as a way of learning to code second only to personal training.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old September 3, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Brilliant for learning code

I tried this and it's actually pretty fun! It's actually called "codecademy", not "codeacademy" by the way.
Educator and Parent of a 10, 14, and 16 year old Written bykelohedeb March 21, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Great Place To Dive Into Programming

I write software for a living and have been looking for the right learning experience to help my kids get started writing code. This is the Real Mc Coy. Learning to use logic and precise tools takes time and practice (and patience and persistence) but it's worth the investment. Yes, it's challenging -- and frustrating at times -- (it is in the Real World, too!), but anything worth having is worth working for. You get out of it what you put into it: It's much easier to learn to flip hamburgers, but not quite as rewarding in the end.

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