High school sucks. This is a fact. But if it can teach you valuable skills, skills that help you land a sweet career, maybe it’s not so bad. CodeHS tries to make high school a better place by giving educators easy tools for integrating coding classes into their curriculums. Even if your high school days are long behind you, you can still access numerous coding lessons by using the program. However, given CodeHS’ high price and limited free content, you’re better off with Codecademy or Treehouse, our Editors’ Choice picks for coding education services, if you’re looking to learn to code outside of the school environment.
Education for All
CodeHS offers free coding classes for both schools and single users. Schools can enroll students in the first five lessons of more than 60 courses, create assignments, and track student progress without spending taxpayer money. Individuals can only take one introductory class.
That said, the free trial is limited, especially for individual learners who only get one course. You’ll have to pay to get the thousands of hours of material that Free Code Camp offers for nothing. Also, CodeHS’ courses are laid out in such a way that it is not obvious which lessons are behind the paywall. Creating assignments may be free, but educators who want to create due dates for those assignments, and activate cheat detection for quizzes, need to pay. If you’re hoping for an in-depth, free education, you’ll find it disappointing to discover that so many enticing classes are beyond reach. Codecademy, our Editors’ Choice pick for free coding services, balances free and paid content much better.
CodeHS’s community features further ease students into increasingly complicated topics. School administrators and teachers who use CodeHS can create class codes that let teachers and students collaborate online during and after school hours. If you’re just an adult looking to brush up on your coding skills, you can study the glossary (paid subscribers can speak with a tutor). However, the service lacks community forums where you can share knowledge; presumably, that’s what classrooms are for. Only teachers can collaborate in their own forums.
CodeHS lets schools request a quote for one of its three paid subscription tiers: Pro, School License, and District License. The base Pro tier includes the entire course library along with improved tools for teachers and administrators, such as automatic grade book, individualized quiz reports, and tutors to help teachers get a grasp on the subjects ahead of time. AP courses are especially useful for college-bound students. The most expensive configuration offers full administrative powers across multiple schools, and lets you manage teachers’ professional development.
Fast Times at CodeHS
CodeHS’s course variety, teacher tools, and freeform coding sandbox make it a robust solution for schools looking to enhance their computer science curriculum without committing much money upfront. However, this focus on educators leaves CodeHS somewhat disappointing for individual, adult learners. Codecademy and Treehouse keep their Editors’ Choice crowns for free and paid online coding classes, respectively, for offering similarly stellar lessons at lower prices.