Computer programming is hard, especially if it’s not your code.
Well, if Khan Academy is any indication of this growing trend towards gamification of learning (read: badge system), we need to take into account that this is just one tool of learning. Khan Academy is centralized in that Salman Khan is the only one doing the video. There is no feedback system that can countercheck all of the videos he produced. It’s a one-way street instead of harnessing crowdsourcing.
But once you’re past that first lessons, then what? Codecademy offers an interesting UI, sure, but let’s not confuse interface and understanding, lessons and learning, engineering problems with education problems.
Audrey Watters basically points out the importance of context in solving problems. It is a valid concern, and should be addressed in Codecademy. Although not everything is negative. The good thing with Codecademy is that, you can create lessons that is subject to peer review and post it online. That is the power of crowdsourcing. For beginners or those who wonder how it’s like to program, Codecademy is a great start.
I wonder if Codecademy can use StackOverflow and GitHub as source of content for the programming lessons. That would make it triple awesome indeed.
For all naysayers about Codecademy or Khan Academy, put up or shut up.