Switching to our Code Editor in projects

We have created an online text-based Code Editor to help young people aged 7 and older learn to write code. A code editor is a tool to write code in a programming language for a computer program. Our Code Editor is free and designed for young people. 

Over the last eleven months we have improved and added features to our Code Editor based on users’ feedback. In the coming weeks we will be adding our Code Editor to more of our Python and web development projects, as the recommended code editor to use.

Try our Code Editor

You and your learners can try out the Code Editor in our Python project paths and our Web project path. Soon it will be added to even more Python and web development projects! 

  • The Editor lets you run code straight in the browser, with no setup required.
  • It makes getting started with text-based coding easier thanks to its simple and intuitive interface.
  • If you’re logged into your Raspberry Pi Foundation account, your code in the Editor is automatically saved.
  • If you’re not logged in, your code changes persist for the session, so you can refresh or close the tab without losing your work.
  • You can download your code to your computer too.

Since the Editor lets learners save their code using their Raspberry Pi Foundation account, it’s easy for them to build on projects they’ve started in a CoderDojo club or at home, and continue coding them elsewhere. 

Ease of use and accessibility

We know that starting out with new programming tools can be tricky. That’s why our Editor has a simple and accessible user interface and design:

  • You can easily find key functions, such as how to write and run code, how to save or download your code, and how to check your code.
  • You can switch between dark and light mode.
  • You can enlarge or reduce the text size in input and output, which is especially useful for people with visual impairments and for educators and volunteers who want to demonstrate something to a group of learners.

We are continuing to add to the Editor’s functionalities, including improving the Editor’s user interface (UI) for better mobile support. Let us know what you think about the Editor using this feedback form.

Using other code editors

CoderDojo and the Raspberry Pi Foundation are software agnostic, meaning that while we will be recommending our Code Editor in projects going forward as it has been specifically designed with young people in mind, you can use an alternative code editor if you and the young people in your club prefer to. 

Please note: If you are working through projects in either HTML & CSS Module 1, or 2 or Python Module 1 or 2 the code editor in the instructions will be updated from Trinket to our Code Editor at the end of March. We recommend finishing whichever project being worked on in those modules by the end of the month so that the instructions do not change while young people are mid-way through a project. 

Project guides within the Code Editor

As well as adding the Code Editor to our older projects, we have also adapted a version of our new Python and web development paths so that young people can have the project guide and their code in the same window. This is particularly helpful for those coding on smaller screens and devices, and those who are not used to using a mouse or toggling between screens.

If there’s a feature you think would help the Editor become more accessible and more suitable for young learners, or make it better for your club, please let us know via the feedback form.

Our Code Editor is open source

We’ve made the Editor available as an open-source project. That means other projects and organisations focussed on helping people learn about coding and digital technologies can repurpose and contribute to it. Learn more and access the open-source code.

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