What is Blackbird School?

Computer programming made accessible. We are a team of educators and software engineers that have developed a platform to make a future in programming truly accessible to everyone.

Blackbird School introduces coding in a practical, understandable way, and keeps you coding with engaging curriculum and practice. You will come away with the foundation and intermediate skills you need to engage with coding and, ultimately, level the playing field in tech.

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Who is Blackbird School for?

Our curriculum is developed to get you creating games and animations quickly so you stay engaged and feel successful. Anyone interested in programming age 11 and up will feel right at home on Blackbird School.

While we think anyone can benefit from our tool, our platform has been developed to introduce brand new coders to the world of text-based programming.

What makes us different

We have developed our own friendly version of a programming language (JavaScript). Our subtle changes to this programming language allow you to quickly create your own engaging programs. Most importantly, Blackbird School has intuitive error messages that help you quickly correct mistakes in your code. These messages help diminish the typical “I want to give up” feeling that can be a part of learning to program.

Our platform also features a powerful debugging tool that allows you to move line by line through your code to dive deeper into how it works.

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Curriculum

In Blackbird School you will learn how to create animated programs and games. Along the way, you will learn the foundations of computer programming: variables, conditional statements, data structures, objects, loops, arrays and more.

Our lessons are developed to keep your learning momentum going! We believe ‘practice makes programmers’ and we have lots of opportunities to apply what you’re learning along the way. You’ll be guided through 10 stages of learning that each conclude with a challenge lesson and a menu of guided projects to help you practice what you’ve learned.

Tools for families

Sign up as a family and learn to program together! Parents will have access to tools and resources to monitor progress and support their students along the way. Families can share their original programs with each other and even share images to include in their programs.

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Get started

It's as simple as clicking the button below!

What is Blackbird School?

We are a team of educators and software engineers that have developed a way to make coding education truly accessible to teachers and students.

Our platform exposes coding in a practical, understandable way, and keeps going with engaging curriculum and coding practice. Students come away with the foundation and intermediate skills they need to engage with coding and, ultimately, level the playing field in tech.

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What makes us different

  • We have developed our own friendly version of a programming language (JavaScript) that includes intuitive error messages that help students correct their mistakes and tools to support students and diminish the typical "I want to give up" feeling learning coding has been known to generate in students.
  • Our platform is specifically designed by teachers, for teachers. We will support non-technical teachers every step of the way to add Coding Teacher to their professional teaching repertoire.
  • If you already teach coding, Blackbird School has developed a way to allow you to pick and choose lessons and give students some variety to add to your existing or new curricula.
  • We've integrated a built-in "canvas" for students to run their programs on, but we’re fierce about accessibility and have carefully scaffolded steps and simplified statements for drawing and animating shapes.
  • Students can watch their code run one step at a time with our friendly Step Mode.

Curriculum

As educators, we know how important it is to meet the standards while engaging students to reach beyond the standards.

Our curriculum introduces the foundations of programming through project-oriented learning. Students navigate through 10 stages of lessons, each concluding with a challenge lesson as well as a menu of guided projects to help them apply what they have learned.

Lessons come with a Show Me feature that gives students access to the correct answers if they get stuck. Students can replicate the correct code and then rework the lesson independently. This alleviates the usual frustration with learning to code.

Challenge lessons without the Show Me function can be used to verify that students understand and can apply the material. These lessons link back to earlier lessons to ensure students are able to successfully problem-solve.

Moving students away from structured lessons and into their own original work is our goal at Blackbird School. At the end of each stage of lessons students have a menu of guided projects to work on in the Playground.

We look forward to hearing your feedback!

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Tools for the classroom

Blackbird School has a robust Educator Dashboard that allows teachers to monitor student progress and create a true learning environment in the application.

Teachers can send messages to their students, leave code reviews on student Playground projects, organize "warmup" programs for students, and make classwide announcements. Students can see their classmates, share programs and see the progress of their peers.

Pricing

Cost is based on the number of students in the class and number of sessions and referrals.

We're different from other online code learning platforms because we help you get started with in-class guidance. Our Pilot Program includes sessions with our Education & Outreach staff in the form of class visits, webinar training sessions, phone and email.

Get in touch to learn how we can support your school!

  info@blackbird.school

  (503) 470-3227