KillerPHP Blog

Curriculum

Open Ended Lesson Plans for Code Courses

March 3, 2017

The most effective lesson plans for coding classes are open ended. What we’ve discovered over the years, is that successful and easy to run coding classes, adopt an open ended structure, where students can learn at their own pace.

… Trying to force students to learn coding in unison on a daily basis, is not only unrealistic, you are creating a situation where many problems can arise.

Open ended lessons that leverages the spiral teaching method

The spiral teaching method is perfectly suited to teaching code. As such, the StudioWeb curriculum and application are designed around the spiral teaching method. This is expressed within each course, but also across the core curriculum, that includes the foundation web design languages:

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript

The spiral teaching method also makes open ended lesson plans easier to implement. Both strategies are a natural fit.

StudioWeb makes code easy to teach and easy to learn!

With StudioWeb, teachers will be able to keep all the students busy and engaged, and nobody will be left behind. Since students can learn at their own pace, and get instant help and feedback from the StudioWeb software, students will not feel pressure from their classmates.

After six years of real-world classroom use and refinements, StudioWeb makes it easy for any teacher to successfully lead coding classes, even those without any coding skills themselves!

If you will like to try a demo or have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb

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Powerful Python 3 for Middle School and up – coming soon!

February 28, 2017

Our new course ‘Powerful Python 3’ will be out soon!

This is a brand new course that teaches Python 3.6, and is aimed at total beginners to programming. It’s a great course for first year computer science students and other learners.

Not just any Python course, it’s a StudioWeb Python course!

StudioWeb’s courses are unique in many ways, but at the end of the day, all that matters is the exceptional results we achieve.

StudioWeb’s Python course has the same easy to understand and fun video lessons (created by a published author, and highly experienced educator) that are found in all our courses. The videos combined with a our unique quizzing and code challenges, set in a gamified learning environment, promotes student engagement and amazing retention.

… Your students will quickly learn key programming concepts and techniques, that will allow them to explore computer science with a solid foundation.

Besides teaching the basics of programming:

  • Variables, collection types in Python
  • Data types and type conversion
  • Functions, modules
  • Object oriented programming techniques and principles

… Students will be exposed best coding practices, tools that developers use, working with Python on different OS’ and Python’s place in the programming world. So StudioWeb’s ‘Powerful Python 3’ goes way beyond your typical Python course!

Sample Python video lesson: drawing with Python:

The following video lesson from Powerful Python 3, teaches students how to use conditional statements and a loop, to animate with the Python Turtle module:

Powerful Python 3 will be released in April 2017. Like all StudioWeb courses, Powerful Python 3 will come with hours of fine grained video lessons, comprehensive code challenges and quizzing, suggested classroom activities, powerfully accurate auto-grading, and real time student activity tracking.

If you would like to check out the video lessons before we release the course, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks!
Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb.com

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Updates to StudioWeb for 2017

February 16, 2017

Hi,

Updates to StudioWeb for fall 2017:

  1. StudioWeb 2 will be retired this year, and all new classrooms will be deployed to the StudioWeb 3.
  2. We are renaming (and updating) Beginners HTML to HTML5 since it is much more than a beginners course.
  3. We are releasing a NEW Python course.
  4. We are now providing a grading rubric for the projects – usable even for teacher who don’t know code.
  5. We are adding to the HTML5 course projects, including lessons from teachers who have used SW in classrooms.
  6. Student time tracking will be back this year.
  7. We are providing a new Teacher’s QuickStart Guide that includes classroom activities (note taking, paired coding, peer-to-peer tutoring etc), the new grading rubric, and other useful things to jump start a teacher.

About the quizzing

HTML5 has 57 lessons and just under 4hrs of video. There are 309 quiz questions, 73 of which are code challenges.
Questions in chapter 1 and 2 of HTML5 are designed to be very easy, to encourage students. Chapter 3 and forward, questions increasingly become much more challenging as the course progresses

As a teacher out of Chicago told me recently, the most important thing is that in the end, the students know how to write code and build websites. I can guarantee you that by the end, students having done the HTML5 course will be able to build sites using the following tags:

– html
– head
– title
– body
– p
– div
– img
– doctype
– a
– h1-h6
– hr
– br
– ol,ul,li
– dl,dt,dd
– strong
– form
– input
– select
– textarea
– tables, tr, td, th, tbody, thead, tfoot
– meta (name, charset)

This is quote a from a middle school teacher who started using StudioWeb this past year:

Look what you have inspired!!!!

We have been doing Studio Web for less than a week. Some of my students have gone rogue on me and started creating stuff on their own!!!! I especially liked that this student references studioweb on his page!!! Thought you would get a kick out of it!

Have a great weekend!!!!

Regards,
Julia

A quick note about JavaScript

JavaScript is the most popular programming language in the world, and it’s demand is growing because of server side JavaScript programming.

JavaScript engines and frameworks like Node.js and Express.js are driving JavaScript’s usage through the roof. It’s a very serious language where companies like Netflix are using it in it’s core product.

JavaScript is very versatile in terms of where it is used:

  1. websites and webapps
  2. browser game development
  3. server side coding with projects like Node.js and Express.js.
  4. mobile app development using middleware frameworks like Adobe PhoneGap:
    http://phonegap.com/

StudioWeb’s courses are based on my book

I wrote a book last year to help me organize for the new StudioWeb courses. You can find it on amazon and in book stores across north america and Europe:

https://amzn.com/1440341125

If some teachers prefer reading, they can get up to speed this way. Though it is not required.

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook
Studioweb.com

1-855-932-8091

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How StudioWeb and Swift Playgrounds Create an Awesome Code Curriculum Combo

June 15, 2016

Swift Playgrounds essentially takes what Scratch based training provides (with some nice enhancements,) and brings it to the iPad. Swift Playgrounds can replace Scratch based code training, except that students will be learning the basics of the Apple Swift programming language instead.

… Apple wants to see students learn Swift for obvious commercial reasons.

StudioWeb combined with Scratch, is already being used by schools to create an engaging 360 code curriculum for students of all ages. That means Swift Playgrounds will play nicely with StudioWeb!

How does StudioWeb play with Swift Playgrounds?

Here are the steps:

1. Use Swift Playgrounds to teach basic coding concepts. Like Scratch, Swift Playgrounds has students moving characters around the screen, and controlling other basic animations with simple code snippets. It’s a good way to establish a conceptual foundation … especially for younger students

2. StudioWeb continues from where Swift Playgrounds leaves off, and teaches practical coding, that can be immediatly applied in a student’s school-wide academic life. For example with StudioWeb, students will quickly learn enough HTML to be able to create web pages. Their new found HTML skills can be used for their assignments in ALL classes. So instead of submitting Word documents or PowerPoints, students use HTML and CSS!

… This type of cross-curricular integration, will quickly get students comfortable with code, so it becomes second nature.

So in a nutshell, Swift Playgrounds and StudioWeb are a natural fit. Swift Playgrounds looks like it could be a great set of training wheels (if you will,) and StudioWeb is the real bike.

In addition, StudioWeb provides many turnkey advantages you don’t see elsewhere: self-evident open ended lesson plans, auto grading, activities, very little prep and PD requirements etc …

Thanks!
Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb

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