GitHub has long offered educational discounts for students; they unveiled their official GitHub Education policy earlier this year, providing students and teachers with free Micro accounts and GitHub organization accounts for classrooms. Now, they’ve launched a suite of free developer tools for students.
The Student Developer Pack is available for students aged 13 and up—all you need is proof of enrollment, like a school-issued email or a valid student ID. The developer pack includes free domain name registration and SSL certificates, a GitHub account, and quite a few third-parties applications—some are completely free as long as you’re a student, while others are essentially platform credits to get started. The developer pack lets students wield real world tools without the prohibitive price tag, so they can learn by doing.
Within the classroom, free GitHub organization accounts maintain and organize students’ code; Teams let teachers keep student work separate from each other and grant different permissions levels for students, assistants, and co-teachers. The Repositories enable the maintenance and distribution of starter code for assignments, WebHooks trigger automated tests, and Pull Requests allow teachers to share feedback with students on their code.
There’s also a wealth of information at teachers’ disposal—guides for setting up the organization account, a sample syllabus, open source training materials, a collaborative community space—so teachers new to using GitHub won’t feel lost.
GitHub is already working to enhance collaboration in the scientific community. Along with Mozilla Science Lab and other data archivers, GitHub has helped to create and assign DOIs for repositories—making code citable for scholarly work. Now they’re bringing their enthusiasm for collaborative work into the classroom, lowering barriers for learning, and connecting teachers, students, and budding developers with an open source community of coders.