Today marks the launch of US EdTech startup Firia Labs’ CodeSpace™ web platform, an innovative development and learning environment for coding with maker hardware. Aimed at schools, STEM programs, MakerSpaces, and individuals seeking better tools for text-based coding, CodeSpace offers a major advance in ease-of-use while leveraging powerful features normally found only in professional software development tools. The web-based product integrates a software development environment with a self-paced step-by-step curriculum that teaches coding in the python programming language through a progression of projects using the BBC micro:bit, a versatile maker-oriented computing device designed for teaching coding.
CodeSpace’s free platform gives all micro:bit users a powerful new tool for text-based coding. Current micro:bit users can simply login at https://make.firialabs.com, and immediately start learning python as they explore new projects. Advanced features and more advanced coding curriculum can be enabled by upgrading to the Full version of CodeSpace.
“For the past 3 months we have been conducting an extensive Beta program with many classrooms across the US.” said Geri Ewing, CEO of Firia Labs. “It has been amazing to watch teachers with no prior coding experience become quickly confident and successful in guiding students through the curriculum. We learned a lot and made countless improvements to the product during Beta, but our core vision held true: high engagement value of maker hardware, the value of tight integration of curriculum with the development environment, and the key capability to interactively execute and debug the code. We’re excited about where we can take the technology next, but even here at the outset, I think with CodeSpace and the micro:bit we’ve created the best maker-coding experience on the market today.”
CodeSpace Free platform:
- Contains step-by-step interactive lessons, introducing the micro:bit and guiding you through basic python coding. No prior coding background needed!
- Provides an interactive text-based coding experience, with immediate feedback and helpful guidance on coding errors.
- Requires no software installation, just the Chrome web browser. No drivers or software to install, and even runs great on Chromebooks.
- Integrates with Google Drive, so all the code you write is saved to your Google account.
- Eliminates the need to drag-and-drop HEX files. Edit and run code quickly, right from the web browser.
Additional features available in CodeSpace Full version:
- Interactive Coding Curriculum - comprehensive python coding jumpstart module, with lots of engaging projects featuring the micro:bit.
- Innovative step-by-step debugging on the micro:bit itself.
- Enables students to understand and correct coding problems.
- Successfully teach coding, even with no prior CS background!
- In-browser access to the MicroPython REPL.
- Flexible floating licenses – purchase only what you need to cover concurrent users.
Along with the CodeSpace platform, Firia Labs is also offering complete coding kits:
- JumpStart Kit - classroom pack for 10 students
- Explorer Kit - individual kit for 1-2 student use
The software that powers Firia Labs products is the culmination of an intensive R&D effort by their Huntsville, Alabama based engineering team. The R&D effort was partially funded by an SBIR award from the National Science Foundation (www.nsf.gov).
All products mentioned above are available at: https://firialabs.com