Our innovations

A friendly error message found on Blackbird School

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Better error messages

We developed our own programming language (very similar to JavaScript) that is optimized for education. When a learner makes a mistake, we can quickly communicate what they need to do to move on. Our error messages are the most readable, specific, and actionable messages ever implemented in a programming language.

A screenshot of Blackbird School's debugger in use.

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Step mode (the easiest debugger ever)

Understanding what happens in your code can be complicated. Our "Step mode" feature lets you step through code one line at a time, showing you helpful information along the way. This feature is comparable to "debuggers" found in many programming languages, but much easier to use.

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The "Show me" feature

The ultimate weapon against getting stuck. If you're learning and can't figure out what to do next, you can always use "Show me" and we'll give you a correct version of the line you're having trouble with.

But be warned! Using this feature won't let you earn a star for completing the lesson. You can repeat lessons to earn stars, of course.

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In-app documentation

Docs are one of the most important parts of programming, whether learning or on the job. They remind you how to do things and let you try new ideas. We built our docs right into the platform so learners can keep their attention on learning, rather than juggling browser tabs.

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In-app vocabulary quizzes

Learning the vocabulary of coding is important, so vocabulary quizzes are build-in to the platform. This helps learners reinforce understanding of the terms that have been introduced.

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Intelligent code checking

As you learn, we check your code to make sure it's correct before you move on. Our algorithm is able to detect many versions of a correct line of code, so you won't have to guess what we think you should type. You can type any code that does the job, and we'll accept it.

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A simplified visual canvas

We've developed a unique way to code visuals that is optimized for education. Many other learning tools use complex API's that make learning harder than it has to be. Our canvas is also bigger than the output area of any other learning tool. It takes up an entire half of your screen, leaving the other half for you to see your code.

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A curriculum for the new age

Our curriculum introduces the foundations of programming through project-oriented learning. You'll navigate through 10 stages of lessons, each concluding with a challenge lesson that unlocks the next stage. You'll also have guided projects, which let you apply your skills in a self-directed way.

 

We have over 200 lessons and 30 guided projects to take you from beginner to seasoned pro.

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And much more...

These are the most exciting innovations we've made, but there are many more you'll have to discover by using the platform.

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