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A professor writes in:

I’m teaching a course in a couple of weeks on data visualization. I’ll be using D3 for the most part. The class has around 20 students in for 7 weeks. Could you please let me know what plan makes the most sense? Also would that plan allow students to keep their projects private?

How easy is it to create D3 or Processing.js sketches?

To which we respond:

Very cool. You can definitely use D3 or Processing on CodePen. Try searching or tags, those are decent ways to find examples.

[Bad salesman me]: You don’t necessarily need a paid plan to teach people using CodePen. It depends on how you’re doing it. Are you all in a classroom together in real life? Is there a projector in the room you use to show students your computer screen? You can just do that and show students what you’re doing all on one screen. Students can have their own free accounts and fork your Pens or start their own or whatever.

[Good salesmen me]: There is a lot you might get out of various paid plans though. For instance, if just you had a PRO plan, you could use Presentation Mode, which would make projecting better. You could also upload assets, which is just damn convenient. You could also use Professor Mode, meaning you could give students a URL and they could watch along in real time at their own computers. That’s especially good if you are not in a classroom together, it’s a virtual thing. Although with a class of your size, you might need to go Super PRO to fit them all. At either of those levels, you can make your own Pens private, but not really your students unless they are also PRO.

Any of you can try out PRO for free for two weeks, but that doesn’t sound like it’s long enough to cover your whole class.

If you definitely want your students to be able to save private Pens, and don’t want them to incur any costs, the last option is to use our Team Accounts. That allows you to give out PRO access to all your students, so they can upload assets, use Collab Mode amongst themselves, keep pens private, and all that. A 20-student Team is $160 a month or $1,600 for a whole year (might be cheaper if you are teaching multiple classes this year).

Let us know if you have any questions!