Here is my perspective as a homeschooler parent with CodeSpace:
The good - I find the instructions very clear, detailed, and easy to understand for someone who is not a programmer. I was able to help my daughter when she got stuck and kept on getting error messages just by reading very carefully and going step by step. Then, I decided to try it myself. I like the toolbox feature with all the keywords and definitions. I was concerned that I would not remember all the important functions, so it was great to see all of it in the toolbox. My daughter, a 4th grader, enjoys the lessons. However, her enthusiasm dampened as the lessons got harder. I think the more she repeats the lessons, the easier it will get for her. I like having the forum to see others' experiences.
The not so good - (It has already been mentioned by others) The cord length, login and security issues. We had the same issues with the login using our google accounts. It would say the password was wrong and required a reset before being able to log in. Also, the security issues to post to the forum. Fortunately, both are resolved. We had a blank screen for some days after the Google security update. I first closed everything and restarted my computer but nothing changed so I thought that the update was not ready yet. Today it was still blank, so I did a little digging and got it squared away. I had to do things differently because I have a Mac. So far, no issues with the lessons themselves.
In summary, I think any parent will be able to assist their children through CodeSpace. It offers much more than the blocks in terms of expansion from the basic functions. I'm sure the skills learned with Python can be applied to most programs which is a bonus.
Thank you for this parent perspective! I hope that others will visit the forum site and read what you have written! It is our vision that this forum will be a GREAT support for our users.
Thank you for your patience in the early days when we were obtaining and implementing our security certificate for all of our sites. That is definitely solved now. The Beta testing period is not for the squeamish since it is inevitable that SOMETHING is going to go amiss. Your home school team has been brave and you are very appreciated! Teachers have used this Beta experience to support lessons on what product development takes. I hope you have been able to enlighten your students on these dynamics also as they have experienced first hand watching a product that receives feedback and iterations. With your help we have been able to develop a truly unique and quality product that allows ALL to learn to text based code.
And boy! We were all taken by surprise with the white screen! Google received feedback from users of the WebUSB function that next time a product has to be unshipped, a notice ahead of time would be the appropriate protocol.
I would be interested in what you had to do differently as a MAC user to install the new Chrome v65 and anything else it took to get up and running again. We want to make sure that we have complete instructions available to all of our users.
Firia Labs hopes that Vataj Academy can continue to be a resource into the home school community. And we certainly want you to continue to have a rewarding coding experience.
We are here to support you!
Happy coding! Geri