App Review

Kodable Pro

Fun programming logic for kids; great curriculum ideas for teachers

  • Programming with functions shows kids how to work efficiently.

  • Kodable's free version includes one lesson; the pro version includes everything with no in-app purchases.

  • Kids learn about conditional statements.

  • Bugs must be elminated for code to work effectively.

  • Teacher curriculum includes lesson plans that get kids moving to understand logic and programming concepts.

Review
Pros: Visual instructions and step-by-step levels make it possible for kids to learn programming concepts even before they learn to read.
Cons: Fuzzy Fun section seems out of place.
Bottom Line: Kodable is a fun way for kids to explore STEM.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Fun, colorful characters draw kids in. Short challenges engage them and slowly build on difficulty and complexity, keeping them challenged but not overwhelmed.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

The step-by-step sequencing kids must master for programming logic works in teaching it, too. Kids master sequencing, and then the next concept is introduced. Each builds on the prior, deepening their understanding of the concept.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Short videos show kids how to use each new concept as it's introduced. Kids can replay levels to improve scores (by using a more elegant, efficient solution). Excellent extensions are available in the parent/teacher portal.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Kodable introduces kids to the logic and concepts needed in computer programming. The back story, told through an intro video: The Fuzz family crash-lands on planet Smeeborg and needs to explore the many mazes. To help them get through each maze and collect coins as they do, kids use programming logic to drag and drop commands to move their Fuzz through the maze. Kids start off with blueFuzz but can unlock others, which is part of the fun. Kids play through one level at a time, unlocking the next as they go. (Teachers with the Pro version can unlock manually.) The free version includes the first lesson, Smeeborg, which introduces kids to the step-by-step instructions involved in programming, if/then statements, and loops. It also includes a written lesson plan for those levels, instructions for an off-screen game to play with kids to introduce programming and logic, and (possibly best of all) instructions for enabling "guided access" on the iPad, which is a way to ensure kids stay focused on a single task rather than skipping from app to app -- and it can be used with any app! The other levels -- Function Junction, which introduces functions; Bugs Below, for debugging; and Fuzzy Fun, for non-programming-related play with colors and letters -- as well as the written curriculum for each, can be bought all together with the Pro version or individually as in-app purchases. Up to five different users can have accounts on one device.

Is It Good For Learning?

Content-wise, Kodable is similar to other introductory programming logic apps like Move the Turtle and My Robot Friend, teaching sequencing and concepts like conditional clauses and functions. The story is fun, and the design is colorful and engaging. It's the included curriculum that makes Kodable stellar. Teachers often worry about how they can teach a concept, like computer programming, that they may not fully understand themselves. The included curriculum makes that easy. You'll learn the lingo along with the kids, if you don't already know it. Remember, kids aren't learning to write code just yet. They are developing the logic and problem-solving skills necessary to succeed as programmers -- skills that will serve them well everywhere.

How Can Teachers Use It?

Kodable is a great exercise for teaching kids to think logically and learn to sequence -- work through problems step by step. You can have up to five user accounts on one device. The lesson plans available in the Parent/Teacher Portal include activities that get kids moving while teaching the concepts. To teach sequencing, the lesson plan has kids "program" a partner to complete an obstacle course, writing out a step-by-step code for them to follow. Teachers can use the lesson plans to teach the concepts to kids and then give kids time to work independently in the app.

This review of Kodable Pro was written by

Field Notes
Have you used Kodable Pro in your teaching? Add a Field Note
Showing 6 of 7 Teacher Reviews
Todd B. Lancaster Mennonite School Lancaster, PA
Submitted February 25, 2014

2 people found this useful

4
Karen V. Spackenkill High School Poughkeepsie, NY
Submitted December 17, 2013

1 person found this useful

5
5
5
Submitted March 4, 2014
5
Summer M.

19 Followers

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