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Jupyter Notebooks and Codio

Codio prides itself on being pedagogically agnostic and flexible enough to meet the needs of any instructor. Jupyter Notebooks are no exception. Instructors who make Jupyter Notebooks a cornerstone of their teaching can combine them with the power and efficiency of Codio.

Lorenz system attractor - Jupyter notebook

Code source: https://github.com/gboeing/lorenz-system 

What are Jupyter Notebooks?

Jupyter Notebooks are interactive coding environments that work with many popular programming languages, as well as LaTeX. These notebooks blend executable code with data and narrative text. Interspersing text among the code provides context, which allows for new ways of interacting with and understanding code.

Instructors can offer inline explanations for the code presented to students. These explanations are in close proximity to the code, which avoids large blocks of code followed by a large block of text. This makes the content less imposing. Moreover, students can be evaluated not just on their code, but their thought process behind the code they submit. 

Jupyter Notebooks move beyond a traditional IDE, and are growing in popularity for modeling, simulations, machine learning, Computer Science education, and many other domains.

Lorenz System, Python SimulationLorenz System, Python Simulation

Jupyter and Codio

Codio takes a pedagogically agnostic view with regard to content and technology. Instructors can adapt Codio to meet the needs of their class. Because of this, Jupyter Notebooks are first-class citizens.

Codio provides officially supported stacks for Jupyter. These templating systems will install the required software for Jupyter Notebooks. The Juypter server automatically starts when the project is opened, which means double-clicking on a notebook file will render it as expected. There is even a stack with nbgrader installed. This means instructors can implement auto-graded assessments in their notebooks. One hassle with nbgrader is distributing the notebooks to students; however, Codio handles the distribution of Jupyter Notebooks automatically. There is no reason to email students or use Jupyter Hub. Codio keeps track of student work and passes the results to the LMS.

Interactive coding, auto-graded assessments, and code visualization are all at an instructor’s fingertips.

Jupyter Notebooks provide a unique approach to programming. The inclusion of code, data, and text give coding projects the ability to offer a narrative that augments the output of the code. Codio remains committed to offering instructors the flexibility they need. Jupyter Notebooks seamlessly integrate with Codio, offering instructors the same feature set as the Guide. Interactive coding, auto-graded assessments, and code visualization are all at an instructor’s fingertips.

Jupyter Notebooks’ rise in popularity in the education sector has brought educators together to author a book on using Juypter notebooks in the classroom. There is even a chapter dedicated to pedagogical patterns to improve learning outcomes.

For more information on using Jupyter Notebooks in Codio, see the Hello Codio in Jupyter Notebooks starter packs (you must have an active Codio account).

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Patrick Ester

Patrick is a Curriculum Developer at Codio. He has spent the last eight years teaching computers and programming to students in K-12 schools.

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