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High School | Technology Curriculum | Computer Science

Fundamentals of Computer Science Curriculum: Reviews and Comparisons

November 1st, 2023 | 11 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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As a CTE educator, you know that choosing the best fundamentals of computer science curriculum for your program is essential. After all, learning the computer science basics now will make a huge difference as students seek career opportunities down the line.

But with so many curriculum options around, how can you be sure you’re picking an ideal resource for your students? What qualities should you look for, and how is each provider different from the others?

iCEV offers a Fundamentals of Computer Science course, but we understand that our solution isn’t the right fit for everybody.

In this review, you’ll find how iCEV compares with several leading Fundamentals of Computer Science curriculum providers:

  1. eDynamic Learning
  3. CodeHS
  4. Savvas Learning Company
  5. CompuScholar

After reading, you’ll have a more complete understanding of what each curriculum provider offers to determine which is the most suitable for your students.

iCEV for Fundamentals of Computer Science

The Fundamentals of Computer Science course is part of iCEV’s extensive CTE curriculum. This curriculum is designed to introduce students to core computer concepts so they can succeed in technological fields.

With iCEV, teachers receive access to a complete Fundamentals of Computer Science course, including pre-built lesson plans, interactive activities, and formative and summative assessments. You’ll also gain access to every course in the Business, Marketing, Finance, IT, and Media pathway to provide a cohesive learning experience for students.

In addition, teachers receive access to a robust learning management system (LMS) to track student activity and report on their progress.

What Are the Benefits of iCEV?

iCEV provides an extensive curriculum for teachers to meet computer science standards. The Fundamentals of Computer Science course comes complete with ready-to-use lessons and resources designed around your instructional standards.

Plus, with a single subscription, instructors can access a library of CTE technology courses complete with ready-to-use lessons, activities, and assessments.

Through varied content, students engage with multiple instructional methods in a blended learning environment. With iCEV, teachers can tailor their instruction to the needs of every student, including special populations.

The iCEV digital curriculum and platform are also continually updated to satisfy changes in standards and keep students prepared for future opportunities.

What Are the Drawbacks of iCEV?

While our computer science curriculum is a great fit for many classrooms, it isn’t the right solution for everyone. Instructors who want to teach Fundamentals of Computer Science in a more traditional, text-focused format might prefer a print-based curriculum for their classes.

Likewise, educators who want to teach a single computer class might not see the value of a comprehensive CTE solution, where instructors can use multiple courses to build learners’ knowledge and skills over time.  

Lastly, teachers who prefer to create lessons from scratch might not utilize the extensive library of premade plans available in the iCEV curriculum system.

Who Should Consider iCEV?

Ultimately, iCEV is designed to meet Fundamentals of Computer Science standards and help students succeed with future professional opportunities. Through tailored multimedia content and engaging activities, students learn to use computing tools, develop problem-solving and reasoning skills, and create solutions using technology.

It’s an excellent choice for educators who want to introduce learners to careers in information technology with a comprehensive blended learning experience. It’s not for teachers who favor more traditional instruction methods with less interactivity.

1. eDynamic Learning

An established provider of digital curriculum, eDynamic Learning offers a Fundamentals of Computer Science curriculum that’s very similar to their Principles of Information Technology courses. 

eDynamic Learning provides two classes to satisfy course standards: Fundamentals of Computer Science 1a and 1b. Both follow a similar style and use text-based lessons with some video and podcast-style content in an eLearning environment.

Through the lessons, students learn critical vocabulary, complete timed assessments, and learn in a structured, asynchronous space. Teachers receive lesson plans and a Getting Started guide to help implement the course in their classrooms. You can track student progress and report grades through a digital platform that integrates with popular learning management systems.

What Are the Benefits of This Curriculum?

eDynamic Learning offers a full-fledged computer science fundamentals curriculum with course options appropriate to each middle school grade level. The digital platform integrates both text and video content, allowing teachers to implement blended learning. The curriculum also covers each subject in detail, and numerous opportunities exist to measure and track student progress.

Teachers and administrators will be particularly pleased with eDynamic Learning’s reporting features, which do an excellent job of getting an overall picture of student performance.

What Are the Drawbacks of This Curriculum?

Despite including some multimedia content, the video and podcast audio features don’t seem quite enough for an ideal blended learning environment. Many lessons are text-heavy, and eDynamic Learning doesn’t include as many projects and activities as some of its competitors.

Some educators might also not enjoy that the course isn’t as flexible as other curriculum options, making the materials more challenging to implement in the classroom.

Who Should Consider This Curriculum?

eDynamic Learning works best in an asynchronous learning environment. Teachers keen to assign their students technology lessons and then manage them primarily in a digital space will likely succeed with these courses. Between the two offerings, there is enough here to teach a full-year Fundamentals of Computer Science class, and the lessons are coherent with some projects and multimedia content.

Nevertheless, teachers who want to combine synchronous and asynchronous learning using a wider variety of instructional resources could be disappointed with these courses. Other curriculum providers offer similar course management and reporting features but with a more expansive set of classroom activities and instructional materials.

2. offers technology-specific instructional resources for CTE teachers and their students. Through their well-known EasyTech and EasyCode curriculum, introduces students to technology applications and computer coding.

The Fundamentals of Computer Science curriculum is tailored to meet course standards and builds upon these fundamental concepts for a high school audience.

The curriculum uses simulated environments and gamification features to enhance learning for students. Teachers receive lesson plans and lecture note suggestions to teach students synchronously. They can also manage content through a learning management system that allows instructors to view students’ assignments in real time as learners complete their work.

What Are the Benefits of This Curriculum?

With the Fundamentals of Computer Science curriculum resource, provides an excellent interactive learning experience. The presentations are easy to follow and learn from and come with useful pedagogical resources for engaging learners in class.

The video and slide presentation resources elevate the curriculum above more text-heavy solutions, and the ability to watch students complete their work makes managing student progress easier.

Overall, the resources offered are more polished than some digital options and can easily engage students from the beginning. Plus, there are practical reporting tools to gauge student success.

What Are the Drawbacks of This Curriculum?

Although student-facing content from makes for a solid instructional experience, teachers might have a more challenging time using this curriculum when compared with other content providers.

The learning management system isn’t intuitive or straightforward, which can be frustrating in classroom use. Likewise, the lesson plans, while practical, aren’t structured in a way that’s simple for new teachers to use. Teachers and students may also have trouble using video transcripts and other resources that aren’t as intuitive as the rest of the curriculum.

Who Should Consider This Curriculum?

Teachers looking for a curriculum specifically focused on computer technology, computer coding, or both may like the format. The materials are tailored to younger students and provide a blended learning experience.

However, as a digital curriculum solution, the platform can be challenging to use. Educators may need help navigating the system and will likely require some training before implementing the materials in their classrooms.

3. CodeHS

CodeHS is a curriculum provider focused explicitly on computer science solutions that involve coding. CodeHS offers a high-quality curriculum designed to meet Fundamentals of Computer Science standards.

Using instructional videos and multimedia lessons, CodeHS teaches students the basics of computer science and computer coding. The content is tailored toward students and includes knowledge checks and exercises to help learners master basic coding concepts. Included activities allow students to explore coding in a “sandbox” environment.

Teachers receive access to various accompanying materials, including pedagogical aids like discussion questions and resources to help English Language Learners (ELLs).

What Are the Benefits of This Curriculum?

CodeHS stands out as a focused solution for teachers who want to introduce students to computer coding. The coding-centric curriculum excels at helping students learn and practice fundamental skills and providing formative assessments to measure progress.

Through video content, critical content is presented in a manner that is straightforward and easy to understand. The included pedagogical resources are helpful and comparable to other curriculum providers.

CodeHS particularly stands out for its variety of interactive teaching methods, which help students see the code they’ve produced in a non-graded environment. Finally, CodeHS integrates with popular learning management systems.

What Are the Drawbacks of This Curriculum?

CodeHS offers many quality instructional resources, but not all of the materials flow naturally from one lesson to the next. This could cause your instruction to be more disjointed than intended and leave you answering more questions.

In addition, all activities occur in a coding environment, even those that do not deal directly with computer coding. This could pose a problem for instructors who aren’t emphasizing this aspect of computer science.

Who Should Consider This Curriculum?

Overall, CodeHS is an excellent curriculum for programs focused on introducing students to computer coding. The step-by-step lessons help learners grasp the basics of coding they’ll need for more advanced careers in computer science.

However, teachers who want to give their students a broader perspective on computer science professions may wish to consider a curriculum with a wider instructional focus. Other curriculum providers offer materials that better cover the range of computer science careers—such as cybersecurity—and not simply computer languages and coding.

4. Savvas Learning Company

Savvas Learning Company is a noted publisher of K-12 textbooks and curriculum materials. Published by Pearson, the Fundamentals of Computer Science textbook is designed to satisfy course requirements and introduce students to computer coding using C++, Java, and Python.

The Savvas offering includes a comprehensive eText version of the Fundamentals book and a teacher’s edition with additional pedagogical materials to use in the classroom. These materials include instructional notes, discussion points, and teacher tips.

As a text-based resource, educators don’t receive access to interactive courseware, and the learning management systems and single sign-on integrations aren’t available.

What Are the Benefits of This Curriculum?

Fundamentals of Computer Science excels as a comprehensive textbook for teaching computer coding using C++, Java, and Python. The breadth and depth of content included ensures that these subjects are covered thoroughly. The teacher's version of the text includes additional notes on each page to help guide students through the learning process.

Compared with other curriculum options that may only cover one language, this extensive text can be adapted for different coding contexts, making it more flexible for teachers who want to add variety to their Fundamentals of Computer Science course.

What Are the Drawbacks of This Curriculum?

The chief drawback of the Savvas Learning Company curriculum is that as a text-centric resource, there is little else to engage students beyond basic reading and lecture techniques. While students can practice computer coding themselves, they’ll miss out on interactive instructional tools that could help them master the content faster.

Likewise, because Savvas doesn’t integrate with a learning management system, teachers may miss features like automatic grading and reporting that can help them better manage their instruction and provide additional help to students who need it.

Who Should Consider This Curriculum?

Savvas Learning Company offers an excellent textbook for teachers who want to teach Fundamentals of Computer Science in a traditional text-based format. The book thoroughly covers computer programming, giving detailed instructions that can help students learn coding basics.

However, educators who want to create an immersive, blended learning environment may prefer a digital curriculum system. With a digital curriculum, CTE programs can create a seamless learning experience that engages students through a variety of instructional formats and not simply with readings and lectures.

5. CompuScholar

CompuScholar is a digital curriculum provider that offers a Computer Science Foundations curriculum for high school students. Their course takes a flexible approach and can be used to teach introductory to advanced computer science students.

Compared with other digital solutions, CompuScholar takes a more traditional instructional approach, delivering content through an eBook-style format with videos and some interactive content. The curriculum primarily focuses on computer coding using a Python coding environment.

Teachers receive a course planner and syllabus to assist with instruction and a learning management system to manage student progress. Included reporting features also make assessing student performance in the program easier.

What Are the Benefits of This Curriculum?

For teachers who want to introduce their learners to coding using Python, CompuScholar offers quality resources engineered toward mastering fundamental coding skills. Included animated and non-animated demonstration videos help enhance the written eBook content. 

An easy-to-navigate layout and high-quality projects and activities help CompuScholar’s curriculum to stand out. Each lesson includes relevant information students need to succeed, and the assessments are automatically graded. 

Teachers will appreciate the intuitive LMS system, which leads students through each lesson and displays grade information and the time each student spends in the course. The curriculum integrates with other LMS platforms for ease of use.

What Are the Drawbacks of This Curriculum?

Like other coding-centric computer science courses, CompuScholar focuses on helping students learn to code using Python. This means that teachers who want to use a different computer language or aren’t focusing as heavily on coding might see less value in this type of curriculum.

Aside from the coding exercises, the text and video format aren’t quite as interactive as materials from more robust curriculum providers. 

Finally, there aren’t many additional pedagogical materials included in the course. Instructors may end up feeling that they’re on their own when implementing each lesson in the classroom.

Who Should Consider This Curriculum?

Educators who want a simple-to-navigate computer science course emphasizing coding may be happy with CompuScholar. The curriculum covers coding with Python thoroughly, plus there is enough other material to touch on different aspects of a Fundamentals of Computer Science course.

On the other hand, instructors who want to teach computer science as part of a more cohesive curriculum should consider other options. A broader curriculum system can cover a variety of technology subjects and not just Foundations of Computer Science.

Which Fundamentals of Computer Science Curriculum is Right for You?

Settling on the right curriculum for your Fundamentals of Computer Science class can be difficult. After all, the right resource can make all the difference in ensuring your CTE students have successful careers in the tech industry.

Which curriculum you choose will ultimately depend on your specific classroom needs. What is your teaching style, and what types of content do your students best engage with? Do your standards require you to cover particular material?

Depending on how you answer these questions, you might favor one of these curriculum providers over the others.

But if you're looking for a comprehensive Fundamentals of Computer Science course to set your students up for future success, consider iCEV. You can use this interactive course to meet your standards and give your students an engaging learning experience.

Could iCEV be the right fit for your students? Sign up for a free trial to receive full access to the curriculum and decide if it suits your program.

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