Thursday, May 3, 2018

CodeWizardsHQ - LIVE Computer Coding Class (A Homeschool Review Crew)

Josiah just had the chance to take a great LIVE coding class from CodeWizardsHQ! Not only do they offer coding classes for all students but they offer homeschool computer program courses, as well.

Live Class Computer Programming for your Students {CodeWizardsHQ}

Before I tell you about his experience you need to know a little bit more about CodeWizardsHQ. This is a site that offers online computer programing classes for students from ages 10-18. The classes are one hour each and are offered for 12 weeks.

We really have never done an online class before. We’ve done a lot of self-paced courses, or video courses. I honestly wasn’t sure how Josiah was going to respond. Would he even speak to the instructor or other students in the class? Or would he really get all “homeschoolcentric” and recite every line (word for word) from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Plus, we are busy. I like being able to schedule a class for 2pm or 2am.

You do realize I’m joking about the 2am thing.

The set up itself was easy peasy. For the purpose of this review, Josiah basically was given a sneak peak into the world of coding. We were sent an email with all the information and got to choose from a list of available class times.

I did make sure to follow the instructions to check and make sure Josiah’s laptop met all of the requirements.  You will need a computer with a microphone and a speaker. At the time of the class, I had ordered a headset (it is for other projects, as well). However, it didn’t come in on time. The laptop microphone worked fine. On the website, we are told that most laptops bought within the last five years should have a microphone. There was one girl in Josiah’s class who used the chat option instead of the microphone….though I know Josiah found talking to an instructor from the other side of the country “live” from our dining room table to be pretty cool.

You will also need a browser installed on your computer. We use Chrome and Josiah didn’t have any issues whatsoever. I will say that you MUST have a good internet connection and a spot to take the class that doesn’t have a lot of background noises or other distractions. For example, our cat was equally interested in the coding class. Josiah kept having to prevent her from walking across the keyboard.

Something else you need to be aware….I don’t think a tablet or smaller device can be used as effectively. Having the availability of all the bells and whistles of a traditional keyboard and screen was necessary.

Back to Josiah’s experience.

Josiah signed into his class fairly early. I think he was worried he was going to miss it. The instructor, a lovely lady named Lynn, popped on about 10 minutes early. As different kiddos came online, she would greet each one. When the class officially started she introduced herself and asked the kids to do the same.

The classes are only 6-8 kids. I’m not sure how many were in Josiah’s class, but it was a manageable number. Miss Lynn didn’t have to spread herself too thin. The ability and experiences of the kids were also varied. Some had more knowledge of computer programming than others.

Josiah only has some general knowledge. We have used computer programing courses previously, but they were mostly intended to be informative. The BIG advantage to this kind of course is that the instructor (in Josiah’s case, the lovely Miss Lynn) could correct mistakes and address questions as the kids started on their projects.

Miss Lynn explained the different kinds of coding and then informed her students that they were going to be doing a project using html coding.

She explains to them how to use their dashboard and shows them how to open up the editor on the dashboard. All this time the students can see exactly what she is talking about because she is taking them through the process as she teaches.

This lesson was all about creating a comic strip.

Miss Lynn was so patient and able to answer questions as they came.

Towards the end of the lesson we had a big snafu. The computer died!

Oh, yes.

Then when we finally got it booted back up we couldn’t hear the class! Now that was frustrating. However, it was a great lesson in the fragility of technology. Because Josiah had followed instructions and saved his work as he was going along, he didn’t lose anything.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get to hear the end of the class and wasn’t sure what he should do next. I should have encouraged him to email his instructor (they have a 24/7 support system), but we had to run out the door for a dentist appointment.

The saga continues because I realized just this week that he hadn’t finished the assignment completely. Josiah is the kind of kid who needs a check list and I hadn’t made it part of his daily list.

No problem!

Just yesterday, he was able to get back on his editor and finish the assignment without any difficulty.

I am about to share some screen shots of his experience. You're welcome.

This is a pic of the what it looks like inside the "editor." Not too complicated, eh?

Here is what Josiah's comic looked like at the time of the computer meltdown.

And here it is when he finally got it completed.

What Josiah Thought

Josiah is in love. With Miss Lynn. With html coding. And with this Live class. He was so disappointed when he realized that this was going to be a one shot “look see.”

He really had a blast and asked me if we could find a way to continue with the classes.

I’m not sure about that, but I am so thrilled he had such a great experience. Though I think he is plotting to show me how wrong I was when I told him “you aren’t going to be able to make a living playing video games.”

What do I know.

What I Thought

If you are able to afford this and you kiddos is a big coding nerd this is definitely something you need to do. The interaction with a person who actually knows what she is doing is invaluable. And Josiah is the kind of kid who thrives around that kind of interaction.

If you are worried about making the Live class every week, no worries! The classes are recorded. You can go back and watch at your convenience.

I also found the company to be very diligent with their correspondence to address any questions I might have. I like that.

This experience was such a positive one and I am beyond thrilled Josiah enjoyed himself so much. Again, it is a commitment financially, but for those who are looking for a career in this field it would be worth the time and money.

Here is what the company says about Homeschoolers. This is a program for any student, but we are making a special offer for homeschool students. They are offering a significantly lower per-student pricing based on the # of students in the class and the flexibility to pick their own class time. 

You can connect with CodeWizardsHQ via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner for more reviews.  Please make note that there is a Facebook Group especially  for parents who are interested in coding for their children. How neat is that? 

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