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In EdSurge Case Studies, educators share their real-life experiences with edtech in their schools and classrooms.
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Travis, @TravisTwinger
High School Math Teacher/Tech Facilitator., Wyoming Boys School, Wyoming
1:1 devices, Project-based classroom, Blended learning classroom, and Low income population

I teach at a Juvenile Justice Facility, and I have tried to bring a variety of opportunities to my students. One of the most relevant opportunities in our modern society is coding and programing. However I do not have any coding or programing experience, so it was very difficult to provide a quality opportunity to my students when even I dont know what I am doing. I brought Code Combat into my class as a way to give students a fun and engaging introduction to coding and programing.

Product Use: I simply signed students up for the Code Combat courses and turned them loose.

What Worked and What Didn't: Everything! It all worked, students were engaged and excited by the game like interface. Everything was presented and explained in a thorough and engaging manner. Code Combat has made introducing coding and programing to my students a fun and engaging experience.

Age Group: High school students and Middle school students

Nov 29, 2016 Provide Feedback
Mark, @Holteacher
Sixth Grade Lead Teacher, Cardigan Mountain School, New Hampshire
1:1 devices, Project-based classroom, and High ELL population

I wanted to teach my students how to code as it is a language all students should all learn to speak.

Product Use: I use it in my STEM class as a bell ringer or what I call a Brain Opener activity. The students play Codecombat at least twice a week at the start of class for about 20 minutes. Most of my students, however, will also play outside of class. I have one student who is four courses ahead of everybody else because he finds it so fun.

What Worked and What Didn't: It's a great tool for teaching Python coding to students. I love that they struggle at points and have to use a growth mindset and perseverance to solve problems encountered. It also allows them to work with their peers to figure out various tasks. Teamwork skills are reinforced this way. I love that it is challenging. It took some getting used to at first, like how to assign courses and set up the students correctly, but it wasn't too difficult.

Age Group: Middle school students

Nov 19, 2016 Provide Feedback
High School Math Teacher, Pennsylvania
High ELL population and Low income population

We wanted to offer more electives, but now programming is an elective that needs to be offered by the state.

Product Use: I used CodeCombat as the primary tool to teach Python to my programming class. I also used it to teach myself Python because it was not a language that I was previously familiar with.

What Worked and What Didn't: The program is very fun, and it is a good way to motivate students without struggling to see results over syntax. It takes a daunting task and makes it much more manageable.

Age Group: High school students

Nov 15, 2016 Provide Feedback
Elementary Technology Teacher, Wyoming
1:1 devices, Project-based classroom, and Blended learning classroom

I am a technology teacher at the Elementary level and wanted to incorporate Coding into my curriculum. I used a different product last year, but not all of the students enjoyed the theme of the website. Also, it was using code blocks. I was looking for something more robust and challenging, while still keeping the students engaged.

Product Use: I teach technology to approximately 250 fourth and fifth grade students. All of my students go through at least the Computer Science 1 Course. Those that are very interested in coding continue on to the other courses.

What Worked and What Didn't: It works well because all students are exposed to coding, but those that have a high interest in it, can continue. Although students have a choice of coding, or different topics in technology, most choose coding! This way of setting up curriculum is working well. The part that does not necessarily work as well is the cost. I was able to get the budget for it approved this year, but can not guarantee I can for next year. I feel it is well worth the cost, however! I have not found another site that teaches students to code in Python in a way that my elementary students would be able to follow, and stay interested in.

Age Group: Elementary school students

Oct 26, 2016 Provide Feedback
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