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Product Review: CoderZ – by Tech&Learning

CoderZ by Intelitek is a browser-based coding environment that teaches middle-and high-school students to program both virtual and physical robots.

FRANK PILEIRO
AUG 30, 2018
 

gocoderz.com ■ Retail Price: Home use: $6.25/month (billed annually); classroom subscription: $840; school and unlimited use by quote.

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CoderZ by Intelitek is a browser-based coding environment that teaches middle-and high-school students to program both virtual and physical robots. CoderZ puts a virtual robot in front of every student, and they progress through a variety of standards-based “missions” using Java block coding language. CoderZ is compatible with LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3, so student creations can be downloaded and run in real life.

Quality and Effectiveness: CoderZ is a nice solution for students to get started in coding and robotics. Teachers with limited budgets don’t have to purchase physical robots, and the 3D coding environment simulates writing code for a real-life robot that can be tested and debugged as they progress through the different challenges. The programs can be downloaded onto a compatible robot for more real-world problem solving.

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CoderZ also has a classroom management component and provides data so teachers can easily assign tasks, track progress, identify students’ needs, and adjust instruction if needed.

CoderZ gives more advanced students the option of moving out of the Java block coding environment to code directly in a text-based editor.

Ease of Use: CoderZ loads quickly and runs smoothly on any browser or platform. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate for both teachers and students. Users who log in for the first time are greeted with a series of text boxes that direct them through a beginners tutorial to acquaint them with the interface as well as the block coding environment. The accompanying curriculum resources make it easy for teachers to share content with students.

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Creative Use of Technology: CoderZ’s instructional design and interface make it a good solution for schools that want to introduce coding and robotics to students but find it fiscally challenging to purchase enough robots. The 3D gamified learning environment is realistic and attractive. It also give students feedback and help mechanisms to assist and instruct them if they get stuck. Its flexibility enables more advanced students to explore some of their own programs and gives teachers the ability to differentiate by assigning open-ended assignments.

Suitability for Use in a School Environment: The CoderZ platform will integrate well into any middle- or high-school STEM/coding program. It gives students the opportunity to learn how to code robots without schools having to make large investments in robotics hardware and create complicated labs full of hardware.

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The gamified “mission” based lessons are clear and easy to follow, and they progress through the necessary skills from basic to complex. The block-based environment builds on the basic sequences of instructions and moves to more complex functions, variables, and loops.

OVERALL RATING:

CoderZ is a creative, economical, and browser-based solution to get students coding by using robotics as the basis for projects that advance them through more complicated coding tasks.

TOP FEATURES

• Cloud-based platform gives students the opportunity for anytime, anywhere access.
• Classroom management tools enable teachers to track and monitor student progress.
• Intuitive and flexible gamified learning environment with realistic graphics.

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