CodeWorld Update — September 17, 2018
It’s been a couple months, so here’s some of the latest news about CodeWorld.
First of all, if you’re reading this and will be at ICFP, please consider coming to dinner on Monday night, Sep 24, to talk with other interested people about Haskell (and Haskell-like languages) in K-12 education. Please RSVP here as soon as you can.
There have been a number of changes made to the CodeWorld platform lately.
- It’s the end of the summer, and if you missed Krystal Maughan’s write-up of her summer contributions for Google Summer of Code, you should really check it out. Krystal added some great new debugging features, including an implementation of the time-traveling debugger that is famous in Elm, and tools for running programs in slow motion or fast forward, and zooming and changing the view during debugging.
- Richard Cook also contributed some code to offer a local authentication database as an alternative to Google OAuth integration. This should help anyone who is setting up their own CodeWorld server and wants to create accounts manually or with a script.
CodeWorld is being taught in quite a few places now!
- In Louisiana, a pilot program is continuing to teach computational thinking with CodeWorld, organized by a group at LSU. This program reaches 350 students, including many schools and teachers who were trained over the summer.
- In a separate effort in Louisiana, middle school students have seen a brief introduction to CodeWorld as part of a survey course that also includes p5.js, Arduino, and web programming.
- In California, Brooklyn Cook is teaching CodeWorld to a new class, keeping it alive there even after my moving to New York.
- Together with a coworker and a local teacher, I’m leading a class at The Clinton School in New York. This is CodeWorld’s first entry into the New York area. Schools here start quite a bit later in the year, so we’ve just had our first class today.
I’ve been working on updating the Guide to match our current best understanding of how to teach CodeWorld. Every time I do this, though, it gets quite a lot longer. My plan is to try to keep up with my own class this school year, so I’ll have a good chunk of the updates done by the end of the year. I’ve also swapped the Guide to use markdeep, a powerful variant of markdown that makes for a surprisingly complete publishing platform. I’ve extended markdeep locally with some features like collapsible notes that can be expanded for more information. Just seeing the results makes me excited to be writing the guide again!
Fernando Alegre at Louisiana State University is also building a separate curriculum focused on 9th grade, and with different elements and API entry points involved.