Meet Students Where They With Block-Based and Visual Coding

Block-based and visual programming requires little prior knowledge, training, or set up—making them excellent tools for beginner instruction.

What is Block-Based Coding?

Block-based and visual code editors use a drag-and-drop approach that makes it easier than ever for students and teachers to enter the world of programming. Unlike traditional, text-only programming, block-based coding requires little prior knowledge, training or setup, making it accessible to students and teachers at the beginner level and beyond.

How Does Block-Based Coding Work?

Block-based coding provides visual clues through predefined groups of code (blocks), such as events, controls, commands, loops, conditions and more, that can be selected, modified and sequenced to create and run games, apps and other programs. 

While many associate block-based coding with younger students, a recent study of computer science students found that even high school students benefited from block-based coding with greater learning gains and a higher level of student interest in future computing courses. (2017, Weintrop & Wilensky)


Scratch is a popular block-based, visual coding environment that introduces programming concepts in an engaging way to students of all ages. The graphical coding environment makes it easy to create animated stories, interactive programs, and games, all within Codio!


Blockly is another blocked-based tool that adds a visual code editor and can be used in the Codio platform to help your courses to be more engaging and successful. Like Scratch, Blockly uses preconfigured coding blocks that are dropped in the Codio editor in varying sequences to create and run custom programs. Blockly will even output syntactically correct code in the programming language of your choice.

The Blockly editor uses interlocking, graphical blocks to represent code concepts like variables, logical expressions, loops, and more. It allows users to apply programming principles without having to worry about syntax or the intimidation of a blinking cursor on the command line.

Flode (Executable Flow Charts)

Flode is a unique visual tool that can be used to help introduce students to programming. Using Flode, students can create executable flow charts that teach computational thinking and computing fundamentals. Flode provides code snippets to get students started, suggested areas to investigate, and lets students see how the computer responds to code.

A platform where all the students have the same setup

Sylvester Mobley
Coded By Kids

If you have one kid working on a Macintosh, one on a Microsoft device, one on Linux, it becomes unworkable. We found that we needed a platform so that all the students have the same setup. Codio has been able to give us a way to organize a lot of the technical things we’re doing with the kids. And it’s part of the strategic plan that’s helping us to scale.

Ready to get started?

Sign up for a free Codio instructor account today to see for yourself why students love to learn in Codio.