Using c9 for non-IT students in education


Hi, I created a step by step guide for non-IT students in Cloud 9 to build a web app with Django. Now AWS have changed things I am unsure how to get a free account for me and my students. My workbook is now torpedoed and so I am looking for guidance with respect to:

  1. How do I get free accounts for my students so they can follow my step by step guide (which now needs updating) without any risk of them being caught out by costs they did not realise they were walking in to?
  2. Is there an alternative to Cloud 9 that is simple like the previous version of c9, that I could consider?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated


  1. It is still possible to use’s Education Plan. See the announcement for educators here.
  2. As for AWS Cloud9, I would suggest looking into AWS Educate, where you could sign up as an Educator and receive free AWS Credits to be spent on EC2 instances and the like. Then, you can use IAM to invite your students, and only give them the AWSCloud9Member permission, so that they cannot create a bunch of new workspaces and exhaust the free credits. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-click solution to do all this for you, but once you get it set up, it should be much easier if you need to add students in the future.
  3. If and AWS Cloud9 just don’t meet your requirements, there are alternatives. For one, you could self-host Cloud9 using the Cloud9 SDK, but that doesn’t come with an account system or full-featured collaboration tools, so it’s probably not the best for you. You can try Codeanywhere, who appear to have an Education plan available upon request, or you can try looking into any of the others I found here.


Thanks Danny, very helpful and much appreciated advice.

The likes of AWS need to consider ways to make doing simple projects in university courses much easier. For example, the educator could stipulate the email extension and this then allow enrolled students to set up their own account.

I think Cloud 9 had this right before.

I also think AWS needs more basic how-to guides that students can follow. I spent three weeks building a how-to guide with lots of screen shots so non-IT students could build a web app with Django. I have not even used it and it is already out of date. Given how busy we are this is very frustrating. AWS need to better understand Educator needs.

I will try out your advice

Have a great festive season