Our Dynamic Curriculum

Q: What is theCoderSchool’s curriculum?

A: We don’t believe in a one-size fits all curriculum, but rather use a dynamic way of teaching with a Coder Toolset that has many curriculums. With our customized teaching style, our coaches will use the best curriculum and platforms to keep their students engaged, excited, and continuing to learn.  Instead of saying something like “every 8 year old starts at module 1 and gets to module 10 in one year”, we evaluate each student’s interests and skill levels, and choose the right curriculum that fits them.  The goal is to keep our students engaged – after all, if kids don’t want to learn, they’re not going to learn!

Q: What’s the best language to learn to code?

A: A trick question!  It’s not about the language, it’s about the concepts behind the language.  In fact, we’re generally language agnostic, as language is merely syntax, a platform upon which you implement logic.  Instead we believe the power of coding is the logical and technical thinking, and helping kids learn to THINK like a coder. There’s no guarantee that a particular language that a young kid learns now won’t be extinct by the time they go to college. But the logic skills  and foundational code concepts are something that will be able to be utilized in any language including a new one that hasn’t even been invented yet.

Now all that said, the answer is Scratch! =)  Most beginners, especially those younger than 10, gravitate towards Scratch because it’s so graphical and easy to learn logic without needing to type (and without the headaches of remembering semi colons and brackets like in real code).  Even with some older beginners, we sometimes start off with Scratch to show basic (and advanced!) coding concepts before moving into a language like Python or Javascript.  But again, the trick is we’re more focused on the *logic* and coding concepts that Scratch can teach – not the language itself!

Q: What’s the best computer used to learn to code?

A: There’s no best computer as far as we’re concerned as we are also OS agnostic. And actually most of the coding platforms that we use are in the cloud only requiring a browser with internet access. This allows our students to be able to continue working on their projects at home as long as they have their credentials.

Q: Does your curriculum have quantifiable progression levels?

A: Due to its custom nature and the fact that there’s so many different paths that our young coders can take along their coding journey, we don’t use set levels like 1-10 or white belt to black belt.  Students instead progress by learning ever more complex concepts and technologies, and creating apps with them, increasing the breadth and depth of their skills as documented in their Coder Reviews.  Just like a real life Software Engineer (or even a real-life adult), we don’t believe there’s a way to “level” or “quantify” a student on a journey – we’re all always in continuous learning mode.  Our Coder Tree® is a great visual representation of our philosophy on progression.

Q: What is the best coding platform to learn to code with?

A: The best platform is the one that your child gets engaged with most!  While every child is different in some ways, we’ve also found some common ground and typical ones they like.  Some of the most common ones we use as kids progress include Scratch from MIT, codecombat, trinket.iopixelpad.io, codepen, and many many more.  The idea is each child learns differently, so we want to use the experience of our Code Coaches®, and their relationship with each student, to find the right platform that best fits the student they are working with!

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