How do you use Cloud9 in the classroom?



Since Cloud9 gives quite a few benefits to teachers and educators, lots of people end up using it in the classroom. Most of the time, the instructor has to figure out his/her own flow and how they want to use Cloud9 specifically.

I wanted to get some feedback from anyone that is using Cloud9 in this setting. Feel free to be as general or specific as you want. If you have public workspaces that can help illustrate your usage, you may share those but you’re not required to. Some thoughts that can help others include:

  • How is your class setup to utilize Cloud9?
  • Do you share your workspaces with your students?
  • Do you use Cloud9’s collaboration features with your students?
  • Do you use Cloud9 when you grade?
  • How does this compare to what you used before Cloud9 or alternatives you considered?

Any other thoughts you want to share that might be helpful for other educators in the Cloud9 community.


I’m looking at using it for some of my classes, mostly as a way to provide a uniform environment between mac and windows, and also to get around the hassle of installing dev tools on windows.

At this point, I have many questions about how this feature works. I started a separate topic at


You can’t do this anymore without the collage pack right?
First everyone could create a account without needing a credit card.
Now they need a credit card, what a lot of people i know don’t have(we use ideal in the netherlands for most payments)


How is your class setup to utilize Cloud9?
One Education Team my students.

Do you share your workspaces with your students?
I have students create their own workspace under the Team we created for that class.

Do you use Cloud9’s collaboration features with your students?
Yes, it allows me to help a student out while presenting my screen on the projector benefiting the whole class as they see me troubleshoot and fix issues on their classmate’s workspace.

Do you use Cloud9 when you grade?
No, we are pushing the work to github and I grade their work there, make comments etc.

How does this compare to what you used before Cloud9 or alternatives you considered?
We were using Atom IDE. Wouldn’t go back, I love Cloud9.

On a side note, it would be beneficial if I could create a workspace under the team and then have students clone it. As of Oct. 12, 2016 this is not possible. Please add this feature.



@pepijn you can signup for the education plan and then invite your students to join your team. They’ll be given a link where they can join Cloud9 without a credit card :thumbsup:

@navarrorc awesome to see how your using Cloud9 and really helpful for us as well.


I am going to start using it for my CMS course beginning next Tuesday. Students will be developing Wordpress projects, and specifically a Foundation based WP theme for a project that will incorporate BuddyPress. I will be using it more or less in the way that navarrorc describes.

I will grade from the public view of the final site; from the WP admin view; and from Cloud9 in terms of the coding and structure of the theme.

Previously students have been using DesktopServer, phpStorm and Scout as a Sass compiler. This required them to use a virtual machine, becuae they need admin rights, and this in turn meant that some students suffered greatly from appalling performance speeds.

I will let you know in December how the course went, and how Cloud9 worked for the students. I can definitely say that, based on my own exploration, I am very optimistic! The only problem I have come across so far is the one I posted about separately: I cannot seem to get my Sass to compile, and I cannot seem to figure out what I am doing wrong. Everything else seems clear, fast and simple.



How is your class setup to utilize Cloud9?
I use it to provide a uniform dev environment across all user platforms: Mac, Linux, Windows, tablets. It’s pretty much a stock C/C++ template, but I had the students install clang. We don’t use the built-in runners, opting instead to compile from the command line. Once they get into multi-file projects they’ll have to learn about Makefiles anyway.

I subscribe to the Education plan and my students get invites from me.

Do you share your workspaces with your students?
No. I tried making a workspace that they could clone (that would have clang and some other packages pre-installed) but was unable to make it work. This was confirmed as a bug by your engineers.

Do you use Cloud9’s collaboration features with your students?
No. I’m kind of concerned they may be using it among themselves, but I have no way of knowing.

Do you use Cloud9 when you grade?
My students push their projects up to BitBucket. I pull them down into my own C9 workspace for grading.

How does this compare to what you used before Cloud9 or alternatives you considered?
I was introduced to C9 by watching the CS50 videos. Prior to that I was using a Linux VM (also inspired by CS50). So C9 was a natural fit because its UI looks a lot like Gedit. Prior to THAT my students were logging in to a Linux server via SSH.

I like C9 because there are no installation issues. Contrast that with a VM that poses problems for about 15% of the students. C9 runs OK on a tablet – not great, but certainly better than a VM that doesn’t run at all.

On the other hand, C9 has recently prevented us from creating core files. Post-mortem debugging is now essentially impossible. Unless this is changed, I’m afraid I’ll need to look at alternatives such as going back to the VMs or running Eclipse Che.

Using C9 for middle school students

While you won’t be able to automate this for checking the entire class at once (for now), if you are curious about a particular student, you can go into their workspace and then check the File Revision History on a particular file. If you look back in the file history and see a large amount of code inserted at once (aka pasted in), that project may be worth looking into a bit more.


So, first I needed a different account to even ask a question. This has been utterly frustrating. I cannot find anywhere to invite anyone. The only opportunity to invite tells me they don’t have an account. I’ve got an educational account and cannot find anything about inviting students anywhere. Help would be appreciated. I’ve read the FAQ = zero help.


How is your class setup to utilize Cloud9?
I use Cloud9 for my programming and web development classes. I don’t use powerpoint slides. instead I start with a problem as an example. Then I program it while students can see the progress on the board or on their own screen. Then I give them another problem (usually more challenging) which is built on the first problem. Students can copy my code into their own workspace and start from there.

Do you share your workspaces with your students?
My workspace is shared with the students. I have a separate workspace for each class and I give students read-only access to my workspace. This way, they can copy the code from my workspace but they can’t run or modify a code. My workspace is a repository of previous programming examples that we worked in class and students can use it for future reference (when they are doing their homework assignments or studying for exams).

Do you use Cloud9’s collaboration features with your students?
I made students aware of the collaboration function (e.g. chat box), but they rarely use it an ask questions in person in class. I have all students share their workspace with me (read/write access) at the beginning of the semester. When they have questions, I can pull up their workspace and help them out.

Do you use Cloud9 when you grade?
Yes I have the student submit their worspace url in the learning management system. I have access to all workspaces but it is easier with the submitted url, as I am only one click away from their workspace. I provide them feedback in the form of comments I add to their code.

How does this compare to what you used before Cloud9 or alternatives you considered?
The previous from was using a Linux server and I would never go back to that. The process of collecting all assignments and running each individual assignment was time consuming and exhaustive. Cloud9 has been very helpful so far and students love it.


First you need to create a team. You can create a team while you are on the dashboard page.
Then click on ‘Account Settings’ icon on the top right corner of the dashboard page.
Your team name should appear on the left sidebar.
under your team name, click ‘Admin’. it takes you to a page where you can add team members by their email or user name. if they are not on Cloud9, it will sent them an invitation to join. They won’t need to add credit card to join. But if they create workspaces in your team, they will be gone when you remove the team, unless they clone them before you remove the team.