Coding is an essential skill for young people to master to equip them for a tech-oriented world. But, teaching coding can still pose a problem. Coding and computer science involve complex concepts, which can easily be off-putting or discouraging to learners.
EduCode Academy aims to solve this problem by introducing students to coding through interactive stories and games. EduCode Academy also aims to simplify complex concepts by breaking down different subjects into a series of short, manageable “microlessons”.
But how effective is EduCode Academy’s approach? And, are other platforms in the vein of Zenva Schools a better option? Our review will cover everything you need to know about the platform, including its coding content, features for different users, and pricing.
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What Is EduCode Academy?
EduCode Academy is an online learning platform centred on coding and computer science, with a mission to empower innovators by teaching coding to them. To do this, EduCode Academy presents courses on various coding subjects in the form of bite-sized “microlessons”.
These microlessons break down complex concepts into a series of interactive activities that tie into animated stories accompanying each lesson. The idea behind this is to make learning to code as interactive and engaging as possible to keep students interested in the subject and motivate them to advance their skills.
What Content & Courses Does EduCode Academy Cover?
There are currently eight courses on EduCode Academy, each consisting of between 65 and 150 individual activities. The courses currently available are:
- Beginner-level courses: Introduction to Programming, Intro to Web Development
- Intermediate-level courses: Advanced Programming, Intro to Game Development, Advanced Web Development, Intro to Data Science
- Advanced-level courses: Advanced Game Development, Advanced Data Science
In addition to EduCode Academy’s full courses, the platform also offers a range of free Hour of Code exercises. Most of these act as taster sessions that can lead into the platform’s full courses, but they can also be a foundation for individual lessons in their own right.
What Coding Content Is Missing From EduCode Academy?
Most notably, none of EduCode Academy’s courses offer block-based coding languages like Scratch or Blockly. Block-based languages provide an ideal starting point for younger or less experienced coders, so EduCode Academy’s text-only focus may act as a steeper learning curve for these students.
In addition, while EduCode Academy’s course library covers a wide range of concepts and subjects across coding, data science, web development, and game development, only eight courses are currently available. While these courses consist of a large number of individual activities, the small course library does mean that there’s a somewhat limited choice on the platform.
Finally, EduCode Academy could take certain elements further in its courses. For example, it uses game design as a means to learn to code through its many activities and exercises – and students can gain further experience through the game development courses. However, these focus only on simple 2D and grid-based games, with no option for students to take things further with more complex 3D game development.
And yes, Scratch is on that list. So for students in need of the friendlier block-based approach, Zenva Schools offers a much better experience (especially for younger developers).
Additionally, Zenva Schools’ game development content features both 2D and 3D approaches, so students can get the best of both worlds.
What Age Group Is EduCode Academy Targeting?
EduCode Academy is for grades 5-12, meaning that it is most suitable for students aged 10-18. Students below ten may also be able to use the platform, but the lack of block coding means a steeper learning curve that may limit their progress.
At the other end of the spectrum, learners over 18 can use the platform. However, the platform’s games and story aesthetics are for teenagers rather than adults, so over-18s may not enjoy it. The same could also be said of older teenagers – depending on their tastes.
Another thing worth noting is that with six courses for beginners and intermediate learners and only two for advanced learners, EduCode Academy is likely to get more mileage with younger students than older or more experienced learners.
For teachers in need of a little something more, plenty of other platforms have a more balanced approach. Zenva Schools, for example, offers content as early as Year 3 with block-based Scratch programming. As such, there’s a big emphasis on even some of the youngest students.
However, Zenva Schools’ content also goes as high as year 12, with a good balance of beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses to suit all sorts of classrooms.
How Well Does EduCode Academy Match The Curriculum?
EduCode Academy designed its curriculum to align with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) K-12 Standards. EduCode Academy covers various core concepts and subjects that match the CSTA’s framework through its course library and range of activities. Specific elements of the curriculum that EduCode Academy matches include:
- Algorithms and Programming: Variables; Control; Modularity; Program Development
- Data & Analysis: Collection; Storage; Visualization and Transformation
- Impact of Computing: Culture; Storage; Safety, Law and Ethics
In addition, while EduCode Academy’s curriculum relates to core subjects in the ISTE’s Computer Science Standards and the K-12 Computer Science Framework, the courses also support common standards for mathematics and science.
However, it is worth noting this is a fairly US-centric viewpoint for curriculum standards, and other platforms have more international standing. For example, Zenva Schools also has mapping for CSTA standards, the K-12 Computer Science Framework standards, and Common Core Math and ELA. However, they also have mapping for Australia’s Digital Technologies curriculum as well.
What Features Does EduCode Academy Have For Students & Parents?
The main feature of EduCode Academy for students is its focus on using interactive lessons and activities to keep learning engaging. Each course tells stories across multiple lessons to keep students interested in progressing through each subject and learning new concepts.
The micro-lesson format allows students to break down complex concepts into bite-sized activities. The format also allows students to complete as many micro lessons as they please.
There’s also an AI-driven code correction tool that recognises multiple solutions for every activity and can provide immediate feedback to students as they code. The tool guides students through exercises in real-time, highlighting code errors and helping them to find solutions.
For parents, EduCode Academy provides a progress tracking dashboard that lets them see various data about how their children use the platform and their progress. The dashboard includes details on the number of exercises completed, how many attempts each child needed to complete a challenge, time spent on each activity, progress through courses, and more.
That being said, other platforms are arguably comparable in this regard. Zenva Schools, for instance, also designs its course content to be digestible. However, instead of just one type of lesson, Zenva Schools offers multiple ways to learn. For example, students can absorb their knowledge through video lessons, written lesson summaries, interactive activities, quizzes, and downloadable project files.
On top of this, students on Zenva Schools also get Certificates of Completion that not only celebrate their accomplishments, but can be added to their future resumes.
What Features Does EduCode Academy Have For Teachers?
For teachers, EduCode Academy provides self-led learning, allowing students to progress through each course at their own pace. In this way, teachers can allow students who are excelling to move ahead, while they focus on the students that are struggling.
Another feature for teachers is that EduCode Academy is accessible by any desktop or tablet device, supporting a variety of classroom contexts and home learning. Since EduCode Academy is accessible from home, students can complete home learning assignments to catch up with their peers if they fall behind during a lesson.
Teachers can also access a dashboard, which provides key details on each student’s progress, performance, time spent coding, and other factors.
Finally, EduCode Academy designed its platform to be usable by any teacher no matter their previous coding experience. Teachers can access courses anytime to familiarise them with the contents or advance their skills.
While all these features are good, EduCode Academy is not particularly unique in these regards. For example, Zenva Schools also offers much of the same: self-paced learning that can be accessed both at school and home, the ability for teachers to use the courses for professional development, and key student analytics to track progress.
However, Zenva Schools also offers classroom management features as well, so teachers can easily organize and assign students in their different class materials to go through.
How Much Does EduCode Academy Cost?
EduCode Academy’s pricing plans are split across three subscription types: Individual, Family, and Educators. Check below for details on each pricing option and what the subscription includes.
|Pricing Plan||Cost||What Does The EduCode Academy Subscription Plan Include?|
|Individual – Free Trial||Free.||Limited access to EduCode Academy content (roughly ten hours’ worth) and the AI code correction tool for seven days.|
|Individual – Monthly||Normally $24.99 per month; $19.99 per month at the time of writing.||Unlimited access to all content, Creative Mode, AI code correction, real-time support, achievements system, quizzes, and reports.|
|Individual – Yearly||Normally $299.88 per year (equal to $24.99 per month); $179.88 per year at the time of writing (equivalent to $14.99 per month).||As with the monthly plan, but billed yearly rather than each month.|
|Family – Free Trial||Free.||Limited access to EduCode Academy content (roughly ten hours’ worth) and the AI code correction tool for seven days.|
|Family – Monthly||Normally $99.96 per month; $29.99 per month at the time of writing.||All the same features as Individual plans, but with up to four child accounts and a free parent account for checking progress.|
|Family – Yearly||Normally $1199.52 per year (equal to $99.96 per month); $239.88 per year at the time of writing (equivalent to $19.99 per month)||As with the monthly plan, but billed yearly rather than each month.|
|Educators – Free Trial||Free||Limited access to EduCode Academy content (roughly ten hours’ worth) plus student and classroom management tools for 14 days.|
|Educators – Full Access||Price not specified – educators will need to fill out a quote request form to get a custom price based on their school’s specific needs.||Full access to all content, plus classroom management and progress tracking, Creative Mode, quizzes and class reports, AI code correction, achievements system and access to real-time support.|
Overall, while this gives learners plenty of options, EduCode Academy is quite expensive compared to other platforms with similar amounts of content.
By comparison, Zenva Schools (and options like it) may be more affordable for educators. Zenva Schools charges per student on a yearly basis. With this one single price tier, though, educators (and their school colleagues) get every feature and amount of content available on the platform. Teachers are also offered a free 2-month trial to actually try out the platform first in the classroom before committing.
Conclusion: Is EduCode Academy Worth It?
EduCode Academy provides a unique way for students to learn with interactive stories. Featuring content on popular languages and suitable for multiple age groups, it is definitely a worthwhile platform.
However, it also isn’t as standout as it appears at first in the market. Zenva Schools by comparison offers comparable features with a much wider collection of courses to choose from. This is in addition to multiple learning paths, so students aren’t just stuck with one way to approach their education.
It is also worth noting that EduCode Academy splits its attention between individual consumers and schools, so it may not be as focused as a platform like Zenva Schools is for classroom usage.
Nevertheless, don’t count EduCode Academy out either. There are plenty of options to consider, though, so make sure to research and find the platform that fits your specific needs!
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