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 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 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.