How to Use Google Drive to Teach Coding in the Classroom

Coding in the classroom is becoming an increasingly popular thing to do. The Hour of Code helped raise awareness for that, and has brought to light a whole slew of new coding opportunities for teachers and students. I was similarly inspired, and have committed myself to learning HTML and CSS in my spare time this year. However, regardless of what code you decide to learn, or teach, you will need a code editor with which to compile your code. For me, there are few that have more benefits than the free Editey website editor apps.

editey

Editey apps can be installed inside Google Drive. Simply click Create > Connect More Apps, and search for Editey. Once you have installed the apps you want, all you need to do is hit the big red Create button to get started on some code. All your files are then stored inside Drive and can be accessed anywhere, at any time, on a Mac, PC or Chromebook. Better still, any files you create can be shared with other users and worked on in real time. This means students can collaborate with each other on their code, and share it with their teacher when they are done.

Additional Google features that have been integrated with the Editey apps are the ability to leave comments on lines of code, and to use document chat. You also have access to the revision history so that you can turn back the clock if something really goes awry, and you can open multiple code sheets at once to work on related code at the same time. See below:

editey workspaceWhen you are finished writing the code for your website, you can publish it and even have Drive host your files. Alternatively, you can download your files in their native format, or upload them to an FTP server from inside the Editey apps.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out the Editey website. They have a number of website templates in their gallery that students can use to fill in the blanks and build upon, or use to work backwards and work out the code that is needed to produce a given outcome.

The video below has more information, but for Google Apps schools, Editey is a great way to harness Google’s collaborative tools to help teach coding in the classroom.

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16 thoughts on “How to Use Google Drive to Teach Coding in the Classroom

  1. Sasha Oster

    Thanks for this resource. I’m a teacher who knows zip about code but stumbled upon learn.code.org, tried it, loved it, let my students try it and they’re hooked. BUT, this program starts by instructing an angry bird to move with graphic instructions labeled in English -example: “turn left” and then jumps to full blown code which is gibberish to me. So bummed, I expected it would take us by the hand and teach: “turn left” is written in code like this: ____. What do you recommend to bridge that gap? Is it even possible for someone who knows nothing of code to teach and learn it along with her students?

    Reply
    1. jonathanwylie Post author

      Sounds like you and I are probably in a similar type of boat! :) I never imagined that I would be able to learn any type of code, but the resource that I found best suited to my learning style as an adult was http://www.codecademy.com. They have some great step by step tutorials that really help to break down the code and explain why it functions that way. I don’t know much about much yet, but they have pretty much taught me everything I know so far. Right now I am 66% through the Web Fundamentals class, and I have learned things there that I never thought I would. However, I also am reading a book called HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by John Duckett. Hearing the same thing again in a slightly different way (and roughly in the same order) has helped reinforce a lot of what I have learned online with Codecademy. The book is laid out really well and is good to have for a reference when you get lost.

      Codecademy is fun. There is no reason why you could not have your students working through some of their lessons online. They have classes for all kinds of languages. They are structured well, and increase with difficulty the more you do. They even award badges for completing certain tasks. Might be worth experimenting with.

      Reply
    2. luetjenm

      Jonathan, thank you for your resource!

      Sasha here are two links that may help
      First is a ‘next step’ link after completing the light bot activity from code.org/learn

      http://light-bot.com/hoclearn.html

      This second link is old school for sure. I have used this in my classes to introduce coding to students.

      http://ictworkshops.wikispaces.com/file/detail/unpluggedTeachersDec2006.pdf

      The Hour of Code was a great success for our students. We are still visiting the site and engaging in those activities

      Best of everything to you!

      Michael

      Reply
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