UTeach CS A requires no additional materials, which makes it flexible and easily accessible for a wide variety of districts, schools, teachers, and students. Recommendations regarding hardware and software are outlined below.
The UTeach CS A curriculum is compatible with a variety of devices and includes extensive programming projects, as well as a number of collaborative, “unplugged” activities.
- Accessible on any device: The UTeach curriculum is hosted online on Codio, a cloud-based platform accessible on any modern browser
- Easy LMS integration: LTI integration streamlines account creation, single sign-on, and grade passthrough to other learning management systems including Blackboard, Canvas, Google Classroom, Moodle, Schoology, and more
- 1:1 computer access and internet access recommended on a daily basis: Students need access to a computer for a minimum of three hours each week, along with daily access to the internet
Codio is FERPA compliant, GDPR compliant, and is at Level 2AA level of compliance for accessibility according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The following recommendations ensure the best user experience for teachers and students when using the UTeach CS curriculum on the Codio platform:
- The following websites need to be accessible and not blocked by the school's IT department: https://www.codio.com/ and https://github.com/
- Several other websites are linked in the curriculum materials that should be accessible (see page 44 of the CSP syllabus and page 38 of the CSA syllabus for those lists)
- The College Board website and AP Classroom website should be accessible for teachers and students
- Chrome is the recommended browser for the Codio platform
UTeach CSA briefly introduces students to Python with Turtle before moving to Java, the primary programming language for the course. Both programming environments are embedded within the Codio platform and are available on any modern web browser with no downloads required. Students are able to program with these languages on any computer (including Chromebooks), tablets, or smartphones (smartphones are not recommended for optimal viewing).
- Python with Turtle (text-based coding): Unit 1 provides a gentle introduction to text-based programming using Python with Turtle, a language used to draw graphics
- Java (text-based coding): The rest of the course focuses intensively on programming in Java, which is an object-oriented programming language widely used in industry
Codio streamlines programming by providing an all-in-one text editor, compiler, and debugger.