We've heard from many educators that the first days or weeks of the semester can be lost to configuring the correct environment for students. Even so, students may still end up with a low-quality development experience or insufficient grading of their assignments:
"Set up for my students normally takes five class periods. There are version of Python to deal with. There's a lot of complexity. Sadly that complexity takes a lot of time and money to sort out." -[Community College US Professor CS 101]
“I would prefer a version of VS Code, specifically set up for a Python installation...” -[Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts College]
Development containers with Visual Studio Code can serve as a fantastic tool in education to ensure students have a consistent coding environment. They take care of setup so that students and instructors can quickly move past configuration, and instead focus on what's truly important: learning and coding something great!
The Visual Studio Code team have put together a great blog post on how to set up containers for students to use for their assignments, and access them via the Remote Development - Containers extension.