Hopscotch HD is a precursor or introduction to coding. Hopscotch calls this coding for kids: an iPad programming language. In case you didn’t catch it already, read my recent blog which has been getting its fair share of attention: 15 Reasons Why We Should Be Teaching Our Kids To Code. “All of today’s kids will need—along with reading, writing, and arithmetic—a basic understanding of computation and the role that it plays across a wide range of disciplines. Coding is engaging and empowering. It’s a necessary 21st Century skill.” Jan Cuny – Program Officer, National Science Foundation
Hopscotch Technologies is on the same wavelength with their new app Hopscotch HD. It’s just what the doctor ordered! We need to move quickly if we are to stay with the program (no pun intended) of getting our children ready for real life. What that real life is going to be depends much upon what we as educators do in the next several years. Research shows over and over that most jobs in the future will not necessarily have a title or specific job description. We do know that these jobs will be looking for creative, collaborative individuals to work in the field of technology, in some capacity. Coding, of some sort, will become an essential skill. However, we are not yet addressing this need in schools.
Why coding? By the year 2020, there will be a projected 1.4 million computer jobs but only 400,000 CS students. Computer Science is among the highest paid college degrees and programming jobs are growing at 2x the national average. 5 Things to Know About Scratch 2.0, from MIT.edu, is a programming language developed in 2006 with a learning environment that enables beginners to learn code with little to no experience. The Hopscotch programming app works by dragging and dropping blocks into scripts. This app has an adorable crew of characters to entice kids to play: monkey, gorilla, cupcake critter, octopus, Mr. Mustache, and my favorite, Space Pod. The Hopscotch toolbox provides you with instructions grouped by their function like movement, drawing lines, dimensions, leave trail, change costume, repeat and many other controls. When you are done with a your script, simply press play and see your code in action. Certainly kids will want to return and add a few more action options and a add more characters to join the scene. This app is a prime example of learning as you go with trial and error. Lots of problem solving is going on here! Hopscotch is not the first to notice that many of the best coders began at an early age. Their app provides the perfect platform for kids to immerse themselves and fall in love with the art of coding. Check out their blog and try this app. Then you’ll understand what the developers mean when they say, Hopscotch allows kids to create their own games and animations. Kids unleash their creativity with this beautiful, easy-to-use visual programming language. Bravo!