Many assume that coding is extremely difficult to understand and therefore similarly difficult to teach. However, there are multiple coding apps that prove that a child as young as four years old can learn how to code. There are many different programming languages that can be learned, but all of them break down into concepts like sequencing, events, loops, conditionals, functions, and so on. This might seem like a lot to grasp for a kid, but there are many apps available to make it extremely simple and understandable for any kid in any corner of the world. Here are some of the coding apps with awesome accessories:
Dash and Dot by Wonder Workshop are adorable robots that can be programmed using easy to understand user-interface for coding. As soon as I held Dot in my hand, I heard it say ' I love it when you hold me.' This was an instant connection for me with the robot within a few seconds of turning it on! Imagine kids having their own personal robots that they can program and make their own. Using the Wonder app, kids are able to change the light on the robots, animate them, and make them say something. In addition, they can also record anything they like and use it in the code. Isn't that cool? Kids always like to make funny sounds and now they can actually incorporate those silly moments into code. Kids can also go on a quest to finish different puzzles, make their own custom code, and turn the tablet into a controller for the robots. They can also get accessories to use with the robots and make their own games! Now the question is, which of the two robots should you get? I personally like Dash because I could perform many more interactions with it. But for someone just starting out with coding who doesn't want to be too overwhelmed, then Dot would be a good fit. Here is the curriculum for information about using Dash and Dot in classrooms. The robots work with multiple apps. Both robots work with Wonder, Blockly, Go, and Dash works with two more apps Path and Xylo. Wunderbar!
Coding Jam by Osmo brings a variety of music created by kids to life, and the best part is that it does it while teaching coding! Who would have thought that coding could be taught through music?! I would highly recommend adding this app to your collection, one of the reasons being the creativity that it inspires among kids and we all need a bigger dose of that in their lives. Using it with children the Osmo Coding Jam app teaches different concepts like sequencing, loops, and functions from scratch. There are several practice sets that show how to make unique music using specific blocks of code. The more practice sets that are completed, the more characters are unlocked. Each of these characters has a different background, which means that different sounds are created when the characters interact with objects in the background. The app has a Jam TV that contains music created by other kids, allowing you to see how other kids used code to create different soundtracks. It’s like every programmer's dream come true to be able to know the code behind a certain solution! To top off the awesomeness, there is a studio within the app itself where kids can make their own music with a huge variety of block combinations. Here are FAB lesson plans/tutorials for rocking Coding Jam in the classroom.
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