2Code

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Hit every one of the new Coding objectives on the Computing curriculum!

 

2Code uses fun ready-made Guided Lesson activities to turn children as young as five into competent coders. Once they’ve mastered the activities, children can hone and explore their skills in the free-code arenas.   

 

2Code is included free with any Purple Mash licence.

 

 

Introduction

2Code is more than just a coding tool, it has been purposefully designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014.

It enables teachers, even those with no prior coding experience, to confidently deliver fun and engaging lessons that meet the requirements of the curriculum.

Children will love 2Code and teachers will love it even more. 

2Code Screen Shots

2Code and the curriculum

2Code covers everything within the computer science portion of the computing curriculum. There is a table in 2Code quick start guide for teachers showing exactly which activities hit which objectives. It also shows you which lessons are cross curricula, covering English and Maths.

Note that sequencing and algorithms are implicitly covered within every single lesson which is why they are omitted from this table.

The curriculum goal “use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs” is covered within every lesson as completing a lesson will employ this skill. However, this objective can be taught directly on a whiteboard using the step feature in 2Code. Create a simple program, maybe a few print commands and a sound or move some objects in different directions on the screen. Then click the “step” button on the toolbar to go through the program line by line whilst asking your class to predict what each line of code will do. For more information on this approach check out the video tutorial “Stepping through code”. 

Guided Lessons

2Code contains a series of lessons which will guide children through creating simple programs. The lessons are split into stages and 2Code automatically detects when a child has completed a stage, allowing them to progress forward.

After completing the final stage, many of the lessons will have a bonus, open ended activity based on the themes and skills covered in the previous stages.

There are four types of lessons. Approximate levels are given below but in practice the levels of particular children will vary. 

NamePurpose

Level

ChimpCovers basic coding/algorithms and debugging.1-4
GibbonIntroduce more complex ideas such as variables and selection. 4-6
Coding PrinciplesStripped down lessons that teach coding principles in a more abstract way. 4-6
GorillaMore advanced lessons that will guide the child into creating games or quizzes. 4-6

Debugging

A debugging challenge consists of a broken program that the child is prompted to fix.

The animated ‘Code Monkey’ character sets the scene by explain that what he was trying to do and asking the learners for help to fix the code. By fixing the program, the child is helping the monkey’s coding career. During a debug challenge the program is always running so making a change to the program automatically restarts the program from the beginning.

Many of the lessons contain a debugging challenge and there are also additional debugging challenges split into chimp, gibbon and gorilla levels. 

Free Code Arenas

In free code mode, children can create any kind of program they like. Design mode can be used to add objects to the screen and these objects can then be made interactive using code. The video tutorials contain extensive guides on how to use free code mode.

There is a free code arena for each of the coding levels. Children will be able to use all the different features and variables they have explored throughout the lessons, plus some extra ones.  

There is also a “free code scenes” icon that contains some premade scenes with a background image and objects already created. This is there to help younger children get started with free code.

You’ll be amazed what children can create in the free code arenas!

Working with real code

On the more advanced lessons and Free Code modes it is possible to click the real code button and see the code in a simple subset of Javascript. The code can be edited in “real code” mode and clicking the “edit blocks” button will bring the user back to the usual graphical representation. If the user types code into real code window that is syntactically incorrect the real code window will flash red. Changing back to “edit blocks” will restore the code to the last state that was syntactically valid.

Progress Tracking

When the children complete a lesson in 2code, they will be assessed according to the amount of time they have taken and how many hints they have used. You will be able to see their scores in the User Management Area of Purple Mash – for more information on scoring in 2code, consult the 2lasso+ Manual.

Pricing

2Code comes as part of a Purple Mash subscription and is just one of the dozens of creative tools you get access to.

You can find out more about Purple Mash here.

Tablets

2Code is perfect for use on tablets.

All the activities can be completed on a tablet. 2Code recognizes when you’re using it on a tablet and will give you tablet friendly controls; for example it will use ‘swipe left’ rather than ‘left arrow key’.

There are a lot of tablets out there. We recommend:

iPads, LearnPads, Samsung Tabs.

For more advice on which tablets to use feel free to give us a call.