Python Tutor Live

Share live visualization sessions on

I've been developing Online Python Tutor for the past 4.5 years, and it's been tremendously rewarding to see it being used by instructors and learners all around the world. So far, over 500,000 people from over 165 countries have used this tool, and about 5,000 pieces of Python code get visualized every day.

Up until now, though, Online Python Tutor has been a single-user tool where each person explores their own visualization alone. However, people often learn best when they get live one-on-one tutoring or work together with peers. The only way this is currently possible is for multiple people to huddle around a single computer or to use cumbersome screen-sharing software.

To support this important use case, I've been developing Python Tutor Live, a set of new features that connect multiple people to a single visualization session. My ultimate goal is to approach the ideal of in-person tutoring in an online setting so that people can learn from one another without being in the same place.

The first feature of Python Tutor Live is called shared sessions, and it's powered by the amazing TogetherJS library from Mozilla. Watch this one-minute introductory video:

Now give it a try, and keep these three tips in mind:

  1. Don't just chat. Take full advantage of the fact that you have a visualizer and code editor. Encourage your partner(s) to step through their code and write new code to try out variants.

  2. Your mouse clicks are visible as colored bubbles, so click repeatedly to point out salient parts of the visualization as you are discussing it.

  3. Take your time. If you jump around too fast, there's a chance that your session might get out of sync. If that happens, click the “Force sync” button at the top of the page to force a sync.

In the meantime, stay tuned for ongoing developments. This is just the beginning for Python Tutor Live!

Created: 2014-06-16
Last modified: 2014-06-16