Vidcode is a platform and curriculum that teaches students how to code. Its creators believe in engaging students with content they already like, and the platform provides self-guided tutorials where students learn to edit videos, create filters, and design memes. Videcode offers 12 coding activities for free, and individual students can purchase full access to their courses for $30 per year. Packages for full 40-hour courses vary based on the school’s specific needs. Videcode is recommended for 4th-12th grade students.

Pros:

Vidcode is super interactive and encourages creativity. You can upload your own videos, photos, and audio to create something unique, and they also have preloaded images and videos you can use to get started. Vidcode challenges you to figure out next steps on your own, but also provides hints if you get stuck. It breaks down the process into small steps so it’s never overwhelming. Overall, Vidcode empowers students to direct their own learning.

In one tutorial, I found myself getting totally immersed trying to make sunglasses move across the screen to create a #dealwithit meme. The tutorial was preloaded with images of Dolores Huerta, a labor organizer and activist. Throughout, it provided interesting facts about her life that I didn’t know before. I was curious to research more about her after I finished, which shows how this can be a great way to reinforce other learning material.

For teachers, it includes lesson plans that you can follow, and is simple enough that you don’t need to be an expert in coding to guide students through the process. There is also an easy-to-navigate dashboard for teachers where you can see students’ progress and projects.

Cons:

The 12 coding activities available are engaging, but limited in scope. You could use them for an after school club or as a supplement to other material, but not much more. But this is reasonable given that they’re free.

For students who have no exposure to coding, Vidcode might be a little intimidating at first because it has you writing code right from the beginning. A teacher would probably need a bit of coding knowledge in order to get students up to speed.

Our Takeaway:

Vidcode makes it easy for students to engage with technology and shows the creative possibilities of coding. I certainly would have been excited if I’d been exposed to this as a young person. While I can’t speak to the full courses, I can say that what’s available in the free version bodes well. For personal or extracurricular exploration, I would highly recommend the free version.

If you would like to learn more about Vidcode, check out their EdLab Seminar on Vialogues.

Image: via Vidcode