Coding is a critical skill for those growing up in today’s digital world, so they must have the right tools to learn about coding and computer science effectively. But what happens when their educators are on the wrong side of the “digital divide” and don’t possess these skills themselves?
Teachers having these skills is one of Code Avengers’ main aims: it is an online learning platform designed to help teachers learn alongside their students. Code Avengers heavily emphasizes professional development and collaborative learning between teachers and students to help people on both sides of the digital divide enhance their coding skills.
But is Code Avengers worth it for students and teachers? And how does it compare to other platforms like Zenva Schools? Our review will help you to decide by explaining Code Avengers’ essential features, content, and more.
What Is Code Avengers?
Code Avengers is a New Zealand-based coding education platform. Its mission is to empower young learners with digital skills to ensure they succeed in the modern world and help career-changers and older learners learn digital skills.
One of the more unique aspects of Code Avengers is its emphasis on cultural inclusivity and responsiveness, drawing mainly from Maori concepts and culture. For example, one of the key values of Code Avengers is the concept of “tuakana-teiana”, a Maori idea of the relationship between an older and younger person taking a collaborative approach to learning.
This concept is in Code Avengers’ methodology, with teachers encouraged to learn and upskill alongside their students.
In terms of the platform itself, Code Avengers provides three different products:
- JR, aimed at ages 5-14
- PRO, aimed at ages 14 and up
- EDU, for teachers to use with their classes
As well as course content available via the Code Avengers website and Android app, the platform provides live chat support, a Slack channel for extra guidance, and in-person Code Camps held worldwide.
What Content & Courses Does Code Avengers Provide?
Content on Code Avengers splits across two different subscriptions: JR, aimed at students aged 5-14, and PRO, aimed at older learners aged 14 and over. The EDU subscription for schools and teachers includes both sets of content.
JR’s courses consist of ten lessons, each teaching a core concept across five tasks. These tasks often involve interactive stories and simple games.
PRO’s course library takes on more advanced subjects – but is still beginner-friendly thanks to intro courses that provide a solid foundation for learners with no prior coding experience. PRO courses cover topics like algorithms, programming languages, and web development & design, split across 2-4 courses.
What Coding Content Is Missing From Code Avengers?
Code Avengers provides numerous courses in a clearly- structured framework, but there are still gaps in what it offers.
For example, while it provides courses in several languages and areas, there are distinct missing elements, such as advanced game development, C++, and more.
By comparison, many other platforms have a wider collection of courses to offer. For example, Zenva Schools offers courses not just on Python and so forth, but a wide variety of other tools including: Unity, Godot, Blender, Photoshop, Scratch, and Excel. As such, the platform is able to more fully cover curriculum standards when it comes to STEM.
What Age Groups Does Code Avengers Cover?
As mentioned, Code Avengers offers two different course libraries with specific age ranges in mind. The JR course library caters to students aged 5-14, while the PRO library provides courses for students aged 14 and up.
Since many of these courses have collaborative learning between students and teachers in mind, it’s also feasible that students beyond high-school age and even adult learners could stand to learn a lot from these course libraries.
Again, though, this is not the only platform offering these wide age ranges. Zenva Schools, to name one platform, offers content for Years 3 – 12. However, the same content can also be used with teachers for professional development, so they are largely suited to people of any age.
How Well Does Code Avengers Match The Curriculum?
Code Avengers maps its content to five national curricula: New Zealand, Australia, the USA’s Computer Science K-12 framework, Canada, and the UK. Here are some more details.
- New Zealand – the PRO course library meets NCEA standards, and a whole group of new JR courses are there to meet the progress outcomes of the recently released DT curriculum. At younger ages, JR content also meets specific maths curriculum standards.
- Australia – Certain courses have been designed to meet the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum. Other courses also align with the Knowledge & Understanding and Processes & Production Skills strands of the Digital Technologies curriculum.
- USA – A new group of JR courses aimed at elementary and junior school students aligns with aspects of the Computer Science K-12 framework. PRO courses in various subjects also align with elements of this framework.
- Canada – Various Code Avengers courses align with the learning outcomes of BC courses, including Web 10, Comp Studies 10, Programming 11, and Digital Communications 11.
- UK – Various Code Avengers courses are aligned with IT learning objectives from Key Stages 1-4. PRO courses also cover some elements of the Computer Science A-Level curriculum, although Code Avengers is not yet fully aligned with this curriculum.
In addition, Code Avengers also provides alignment with the International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International Computer Science curricula.
For those who need a more US or Australian-based focus, though, there are other options. For example, Zenva Schools offers mapping for almost the entirety of the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum. It also offers mapping for three US standards: Common Core (both Math and ELA), CSTA Computer Science Standards, and the K-12 Computer Science Framework.
What Features Does Code Avengers Have For Students & Parents?
Code Avengers enables students to learn at their own pace and identify their next steps. Its beginner-friendly courses allow students of all ages and experience levels to use Code Avengers content.
Courses include audio, visuals, quizzes, and project-based content, providing variety that caters to different learning styles. Code Avengers also claims to have high levels of success when it comes to students with cognitive learning issues, physical disabilities, and other special learning needs, thanks to the various learning styles that it supports.
Finally, Code Avengers features an achievement system that helps to motivate students to complete tasks, lessons, and courses through a gamified learning experience.
Notably, though, there isn’t much here for parents.
While Code Avengers is definitely solid for students, plenty of other platforms offer comparable services. Zenva Schools, for instance, also offers courses that cater to a variety of learning styles with printable lesson summaries of course content, video lessons, interactive lessons with in-browser coding exercises, quizzes, and downloadable source files.
Zenva Schools also offers students Certificates of Completion that can not only mark their achievement, but be used on future resumes.
What Features Does Code Avengers Have For Teachers?
Code Avengers provides teachers with features to help them deliver courses and lessons while improving their skills.
For example, each JR course aligns with course notes that enable teachers to personalize each lesson for the needs of their class. These notes include learning outcomes, story and content descriptions, worksheets, and more.
In addition, Code Avengers states that no prior experience in coding is necessary to deliver its courses. Because of this, they design the content to support educators and students of all experience levels, allowing teachers to learn and improve their coding skills alongside their students.
This feature pairs with the Professional Learning Development courses provided with an EDU license. These cover topics like collaborative learning strategies, how to reposition from an expert to a co-learner with students, fostering perseverance and innovation, and culturally responsive pedagogy.
Code Avengers also includes classroom management and student progress tracking tools. For example, an “at a glance” student tracking tool monitors students’ progress across each course and shows how much time they spend on different tasks, the number of attempts they make, and the support they access to complete a task.
Self-graded tasks that provide immediate feedback also streamline the marking and grading process. Results and feedback are quickly accessible via the teacher dashboard and can also export to spreadsheets.
Finally, course assignment tools on Code Avengers allow teachers to assign courses to groups or individual students and provide differentiation tools to cater to different learning needs.
Similar to many previous instances, though, keep in mind other platforms still offer similar and competitive options. Zenva Schools offers teachers their own professional development section (at no extra cost) – so teachers can take the same courses along with the students.
When it comes to teaching itself, Zenva Schools also offers a lot. This includes classroom management tools for organizing and assigning courses, pre-mapped (but editable) lesson plans with transparent content descriptors, and even analytics to track student progress.
How Much Does Code Avengers Cost?
Code Avengers costs different amounts depending on whether you’re looking for a JR, PRO, or EDU subscription, as well as the subscription length you choose. The details of each subscription option are available in the table below.
|Subscription||Price||What Does The Pricing Tier Include?|
|JR 3-Month Subscription||$60 billed every three months (equivalent to $20 per month)||Unlimited access to all JR courses and content, plus 500+ lessons, 100+ guided projects and quizzes, course completion certificates and access to IDEs to build your own projects|
|JR 6-Month Subscription||$84 billed every six months (equivalent to $14 per month)||Unlimited access to all JR courses and content, plus 500+ lessons, 100+ guided projects and quizzes, course completion certificates and access to IDEs to build your own projects|
|JR 1-Year Subscription||$96 billed yearly (equivalent to $8 per month)||Unlimited access to all JR courses and content, plus 500+ lessons, 100+ guided projects and quizzes, course completion certificates and access to IDEs to build your own projects|
|PRO Monthly Subscription||$29 per month||Unlimited access to all PRO courses and content, plus 500+ lessons, 100+ guided projects and quizzes, course completion certificates and access to IDEs to build your own projects|
|PRO 6-Month Subscription||$150 billed every six months (equivalent to $25 per month)||Unlimited access to all PRO courses and content, plus 500+ lessons, 100+ guided projects and quizzes, course completion certificates and access to IDEs to build your own projects|
|PRO 1-Year Subscription||$240 billed yearly (equivalent to $20 per month)||Unlimited access to all PRO courses and content, plus 500+ lessons, 100+ guided projects and quizzes, course completion certificates and access to IDEs to build your own projects|
|EDU Free Trial||Free||Access to curricula-aligned courses, quizzes and projects, customisable lesson plans and student reporting/class management tools|
|EDU School License||Unspecified – contact Code Avengers directly for a quote||Access to all Code Avengers content and teaching tools, professional development, live one-to-one training to use the platform most effectively, support from the customer success team, and a library of unplugged activities.|
While there are plenty of options here to choose from, it does make deciding the best plan for you difficult since higher quality features are locked behind more and more paywalls.
By comparison, other platforms offer more competitive pricing. Zenva Schools, for example, charges an affordable amount based on number of students on a yearly basis. For this single price, though, teachers unlock everything – from the coding course content all the way to the classroom management and reporting tools.
Conclusion: Is Code Avengers Worth It?
Code Avengers definitely provides a course library accessible to all ages and skill levels. Its courses cover various coding and computer science subjects, and the platform offers features for both students and teachers through its novel collaborative learning approach.
However, while Code Avengers is a decent option, it isn’t particularly unique with the aspects that matter.
Zenva Schools provides a library of fun and engaging project-based courses centred around not only the same topics, but a wider range of topics as well. With the addition of professional development and classroom management tools for a much more competitive price, it stands at the same level or higher as Code Avengers.
Ultimately, you’ll need to pick the platform that best suits your needs. Just remember there’s plenty of platforms to choose from!
If you’re from a K12 school and want to try out our platform, fill out the form below.
We’ll organize a free trial so you can test it out with your students in class!