Using Instagram to Teach JavaScript

Startup piggybacks on social media to make learning-to-code girl-friendly

Photo: Vidcode

Instagram. It’s the go-to social network for teenage girls today. (They aren’t using Facebook; that’s for their parents.) So, thought Alexandra Diracles, founder of Vidcode, that’s where you go if you want to get more girls interested in computer science by introducing them to coding.

Vidcode, which graduated from the Intel Education Accelerator last week, has built a curriculum and tools for teaching JavaScript using Instagram photos. A user uploads images and videos from Instagram, and, using JavaScript, turns it into video greeting cards, music videos, and other projects that they can share online. Beginners drag and drop basic chunks of code, then edit it to change parameters; they evolve to writing their own routines. Vidcode is reaching out to school districts, governments, and groups like the Girl Scouts, and plans to charge $10 to $12 per user per year for the curriculum. The system is already online, with a sample session available for free. Diracles says the company is working on expanding its tools to allow users to edit videos for 3D and Virtual Reality viewing.

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