Computing Ideas

The Computing Ideas course is a first computer science course introducing the basics of programming with Karel the Dog, the basics of designing a web page, and how information and images are represented with computers. Students will learn to code using blocks to drag and drop, but they can switch between blocks and text as desired. Students will create a portfolio on the web of projects they build throughout the course.

With a unique focus on creativity, problem solving and project based learning, Computing Ideas gives students the opportunity to explore several important topics of computing using their own ideas and creativity and develop an interest in computer science that will foster further endeavors in the field.


The entirely web-based curriculum is made up of a series of learning modules that cover the fundamentals of programming. Each module is made up of short video tutorials, example programs, quizzes, programming exercises, challenge problems, and unit tests. Students write and run programs in the browser using the CodeHS editor.

Learning Environment:The course utilizes a blended classroom approach. The content is a mix of web-based and physical activities. Students will write and run code in the browser, create websites and digital presentations, and engage in in-person collaborative exercises with classmates. Teachers utilize tools and resources provided by CodeHS to leverage time in the classroom and give focused 1-on-1 attention to students.

Programming Environment:Students write and run programs in the browser using the CodeHS editor. Students will be able to write both text based and block based programs in Karel. They will also create webpages using HTML and CSS. These webpages will be hosted on the CodeHS website so that they can keep a running portfolio of their creative projects, and easily share their programs with the world. Students gain programming experience early on in the course that will enable them to explore the rest of the course topics through computational thinking practices.

Who is it for?

This course is meant to be a first time introduction to computer science, and does not require students to come in with any computer programming experience.

Meet Your Instructor

Calvin Studebaker

As a Curriculum Engineer at CodeHS and former computer science TA at Stanford, Calvin has helped thousands of students learn the foundations of computer science.

What do you Learn?

Module Description
Programming with Karel the Dog: Teaches what it means to "program" and allows students to focus on solving problems using code, rather than getting bogged down in syntax. Students solve problems by moving Karel the Dog around the grid.
Web Design: Introduces HTML, CSS, and the processes involved in viewing web pages on the Internet. Students create several simple web pages using the CodeHS online editor, including their own website about themselves, hosted on their own custom URL. This personal website will serve as a running portfolio of each creative project they create.
What is a Computer? What is Computer Science?: This unit teaches students what a computer is. Students will explore the different types of computers and how they affect their everyday lives and discuss relevant applications of computing.
Digital Information:Teaches the various ways we represent information digitally. Students learn about pixels, binary, hexadecimal, colors, and digital image representations.
The Internet:Explores the structure and design of the internet, the security of data, and personal privacy. Students will learn about the social and ethical implications of the internet.

Course Flavors

On our Pro plans, we have different Course Flavors available. Course Flavors means that you get exactly the right version of our course for your school, classroom, and students.

Here are our Course Flavors for Computing Ideas:

Course Flavor Description
Computing Ideas (Lovelace) This is the main Computing Ideas course which covers web design, programming, and big ideas in computing. This course is for middle school and starts with blocks.
Computing Ideas (Babbage) This is a Computing Ideas course geared towards 9th grade which teaches web design, programming, and big ideas in computing but teaches text-based programming.
Computing Ideas (Shannon) This Computing Ideas course is geared for a 1-semester middle school or early high school class, which teaches with blocks
Computing Ideas (Hopper) This is a Computing Ideas is an introductory course with web design and programming for a 1-semester class that teaches with text-based programming.

To find out the right Course Flavor for your class contact your Account Manager or contact us at


Interested in teaching Computing Ideas with CodeHS? Tell us more by filling out this form and we'll get in touch!

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Interactive Tools

Students will learn and explore concepts around digital information, programming, the internet and more. See a few of the ways that students will learn about these concepts.

Students will learn the basics of programming with Karel the Dog. Karel is a dog who lives in a grid world and students will give commands to Karel to solve puzzles. Students can program in blocks or text.

Students will learn the basics of web development with HTML and CSS. Here you can see how students can design web pages using text or blocks.

Students will learn ideas around abstraction, digital information and encodings. Here you can see how students will explore black and white pixel images interactively.

Students will learn how digital information can be used to represent all types of data such as colors or text. Here students can create their own images with pixels.

Students will learn about how the internet works. This tool lets student explore the pathway that information takes through the internet.