The UTeach CS Principles curriculum requires no additional materials costs, 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.
UTeach CS Principles includes many collaborative, “unplugged” activities, making the curriculum more accessible for classrooms with technological limitations.
- 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
- Adaptations available for classrooms with limited computers or wifi: Student readings can be downloaded for offline access if classrooms have limited access to computers and/or wifi
Codio is FERPA compliant, GDPR compliant, and meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Standard at Level AA. Codio provides a built-in dyslexia support feature and supports screen readers for text-based programming languages such as Java and Python. Codio is actively committed to maintaining and continuously improving the accessibility of the Codio experience.
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:
- Most frequently used sites: codio.com, codio.io, and uteachcs.github.io (view additional websites)
- The College Board website and AP Classroom website
- Several other websites, which are linked in the curriculum materials (see page 44 of the CSP syllabus and page 38 of the CSA syllabus for those lists)
- Chrome is the recommended browser for the Codio platform (view details about other browser options)
- Codio can usually run from anywhere in your browser without any special settings. However, some K-12 firewall settings may require special configuration (learn more)
UTeach CSP uses the Scratch and Python programming languages, which are both embedded within the Codio platform and 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).
- Scratch (block-based coding): Scratch’s visually-driven, drag-and-drop interface provides students with a “low floor, high ceiling” introduction to programming. Students will create Scratch programs through an integrated development environment (IDE) embedded in Codio's platform, without needing to create separate Scratch accounts.
- Python (text-based coding): Students transition to programming in Python in the fourth unit of the course. Python is easy for teachers and students to learn, while also being well-suited for the Create Task and more widely established as an industry-standard language. Students will program in Python through the integrated development environment (IDE) within Codio's platform.