Coding is at the heart of every software we use today.
When it first started, learning it was quite a jumbo task and required classes upon classes of teaching.
Not everyone would catch up easily more frequently because the teachers and their methods were too complex and not engaging.
If you’ve ventured into coding before but had to give it up for finding it too difficult, you will understand this.
So should we leave coding? Our whole world of software will crash and we would be left with only mechanical hardware to do all of our heavy liftings.
Think of it, all the games and apps we’ve come to fall in love with wouldn’t have even come into existence without coding. Computers would just not work anymore and maybe we might just revert to the age of the abacus.
But coding is going out. It’s here to stay. And many more people especially the younger generation, are needed to take this highly important skill forward.
We’ve therefore come to need a way to learn coding in a way that even kids of a reasonable age would be able to understand without much hassle.
And a lot of modern software has been developed for just that purpose. We’ll review one of them now and see how well it stands up to the task.
We’re talking about Code Monkey here. Let’s head straight into the review.
What is Code Monkey?
Code Monkey is a kid-oriented program that is meant to assist even very small children learn the basics of coding.
The company has been around since 2014 and has garnered a lot of positive reviews as it presents information in a very simple style.
Children can have fun while learning even such a difficult topic as programming.
And what they do get is arguably better than what’s obtainable in the classroom. The lessons are very informative and well-organized.
In more detail, Code Monkey is an online game targeted at children. The game has different levels which you can pass as your knowledge in coding increases.
How Does Code Monkey Work?
The mission in the game is to recover bananas that were stolen from Code Monkey (the main character) by a gorilla.
Each level has a certain number of bananas that you are required to collect. Once that is done, the level is completed and you receive a certain number of stars based on your performance. Three stars is the maximum though.
As you get more used to the game, you will be able to give solutions to coding problems more effectively so that you can get three stars more often.
There are up to 400 levels and they are displayed on the Code Monkey’s world map. Past levels can be replayed but you must unlock all the levels one by one.
If you’ve completed all the levels, then you can be viewed as an expert in Coffee script as a programming language.
Code Monkey is not just a game hub though. It is also meant for student-teacher interaction. For that, there is the classroom version of the software which comes loaded with lesson plans which teachers can use for teaching.
There is also a dashboard that displays the students’ progress and achievements.
Then there is the answer key which is visible to the teacher (s). Teachers can see their students’ solutions to the challenges and the games they create in the showroom, where they can share them with the class.
Code Monkey is also for student-student interaction. Kids can give their fellow players hints to pass difficult levels when the in-game help is not enough.
What Age is CodeMonkey For?
Code Monkey is for children aged 8 and above.
The learning experience is made as simple as possible so that even children can assimilate.
Even older children too can benefit as the lessons are kid-friendly but not overly childish.
What is Inside? – Features and Highlights
Code Monkey has a lot of courses that altogether make up the teacher’s kit.
Each video lesson is a step-by-step tutorial that walks students through coding from the fundamentals up to the more complex ones.
Real Coding Languages
You can be sure that the knowledge you get actually counts rather than just being a mere recitation of facts.
Who doesn’t like playing games? Then probably few would reject the idea of presenting learning in a gamified manner.
This approach to learning takes a lot of stress out of the process so that even a kid would look forward to the next lessons.
Even teachers will find the approach to teaching less boring than conventional classroom styles.
And that means that teachers can now invest more time and effort since they are sure of getting results from lively kids.
As mentioned earlier, there is the classroom version of the program for a guided learning experience.
The classroom allows teachers to get more involved in their students’ progress.
For instance, teachers can see their students’ solutions to the puzzles and track their progress through the levels and give them targeted coaching to help them cement their weak areas.
Teachers can also set questions for students and paste their results on the dashboard.
Any good online learning platform should be able to leave you as a professional and Code Monkey doesn’t skimp on this aspect.
With Code Monkey, you can move through the basics up to the more complicated aspects until you become a professional teacher.
Those benefits come without the lessons being packed full with more information than is necessary so that you not only avoid being overwhelmed but also learn all the necessary things.
Backing up all of this is plenty of free webinars, video tutorials, MOOC courses, and off-course, dedicated staff.
One of the worst things that can happen to you when learning something, whether self-taught or guided, whether physical or online is getting knowledge that is outdated.
Many online platforms can be accused of that, not updating whatever curriculum they follow to what the world has advanced to.
But Code Monkey seems different here.
The way they present information in the form of a game might be enough to convince even the most skeptical kid to jump in on it.
Besides, their content itself is up to date with current trends in coding. There are all kinds of online challenges and unplugged activities that help students to develop a variety of skills from computational thinking, collaboration, reasoning, and logic aside from just coding skills.
CodeMonkey Pricing and Cost
Code Monkey’s pricing structure is split into two categories, teacher and parent.
The teacher plan is subdivided into the custom school and custom district plan.
Both subdivisions include Classroom Dashboard, Lesson plans, Code Monkey Hour of Code Courses, Automatic Grading, Video Tutorials, Easy Roll-Out, Solutions for All exercises, Single Sign-On, and Online Support.
The custom district plan however adds access to student usage reports, and standards alignment. Teachers have their own personal account manager and custom rollout options.
Each plan can also be tailored to the needs of the school and allow for an unlimited number of teachers to create their personal classroom profiles.
The next kind of subscription is the Parent plan.
The Parent plan can be either an individual plan or a family plan.
With the individual plan, you can create one child account alongside one parent account while the Parent plan allows three children accounts and one parent account.
The teacher plan does not have a fixed cost. It requires a consultation with a Code Monkey team member. To start, click on “get a quote” and enter your contact information.
The Parent plan, on the other hand, comes with a price tag that depends on which sub-plan you choose.
For the individual plan, you can pay monthly, quarterly or yearly.
That translates to $10 every month for the monthly plan, $8 every month for the quarterly plan and $5 every month for the yearly plan.
The family plan follows the same billing cycles but costs double for each time frame you select.
Pros and Cons
As good as the platform seems to be, we can have a complete review without highlighting the pros and the cons as well
Will its pros outweigh its cons? You’ll see this in the next section of this review.
The cartoon graphics are cute and highly engaging. Engagement is also enhanced by by the steadily increasing levels of level difficulty.
Clever programming puzzles move players through each new concept using real CoffeeScript or Python code, providing just enough difficulty to challenge without frustration. The bite-sized learning makes bigger concepts easier to digest.
Ease of Use
Immediately available; you don’t need to download anything.
- Advanced students may find challenges move too slowly, and struggling students may need more than the included hints.
- More suitable as a class interactive activity, since it requires technical support and help
The trend is moving towards you learning online skills and coding is just one of them.
This review has subjected Code Monkey to a thorough peeling and you may have seen its true color as presented in theory.
Based on what we’ve seen, honestly, I can recommend this software for anyone who wants to learn coding in as simple a way as possible.