The Hour of Code is set for December 7th this year and my school is doing a Star Wars theme using java and Spheros. Many people ask me what are some great Apps or units that go great with teaching students and teachers how to code and then build it from there. Here is my list:
Tickle: Learn to program Arduino, drones, Star Wars BB-8 Droid,robots, connected toys, and smart home devices, all wirelessly. Tickle is easy to learn, fun to use. This one of my main go to Apps for coding if you are a 1:1 iPad school. Its great from Dash and Dot to Spheros. It will also be in the Google Play store soon.
Pyonkee: Pyonkee is a new dynamic media for developing various ideas. By combining visual blocks, kids/adults are able to create original games, animations, and stories on their own. Through the programming process, we will learn about logics, productivity, creativity, and collaborations.
Pixel Press Floors: Ever wanted to make your own video games? With Pixel Press you can draw and create within minutes. Create on paper with “Draw-on-Paper” and take a picture of it, create directly on the screen just like you would on paper with “Draw-in-App”, and then share & play games created by you and the entire community in the “Arcade”.
Sphero Platform: Whether you’re an educator or a parent, the Sphero platforms give kids a fun crash course in programming while sharpening STEAM and critical thinking skills. Their SPRK Program is built for all ages and skill levels, spanning the discovery of shapes and colors to advanced coding and app creation. Dig into the activities and see for yourself.
Sleepy Walker:Sleepy Walker is a simple educational game which will introduce basic programming concepts through puzzles and a drag-and-drop gameplay. A perfect way to introduce students to coding in a puzzle solving platform. A relatively new app but lots of fun for everyone to teach code.
Bugs & Buttons Saga: The Bugs and Buttons Saga is one of my favorite for teaching students how to code. Full of several mini games that teach students from patterns to solving mathematics. There isn’t one game from the Bugs Crew you won’t find fun and enjoyable. Try Bugs & Bubbles, Bugs & Numbers and even Bugmazing for adventures in coding.
Hopscotch: I’ve talk about Hopscotch many times and still remains a great one. Easy to use, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a powerful language. Explore computer science fundamentals like abstraction, variables, conditionals, loops, and more—while making stuff that you actually want to play.
Ozobot Platform: Similar to Sphero, the mini robots known as Ozobots are a great way to teach students coding and problem solving. Empower your students to embrace the future and become a maker of technology, not just a user. When your students connects with their own power of creation. There are several apps and color creations you can make and even use dice to make learning fun and enjoyable and bring creativity to a whole new level.
Tynker: Another favorite of mine besides Hopscotch, Tynker’s online courses provide a complete learning system with interactive exercises, guided tutorials, fun creativity tools, puzzles and more to make programming fun. Tynker also works with other robot devices like Sphero and Parrot Drones and can have students really build on their creativity and problem solving.
Bee-bots: Bee-Bots are a great teaching tool that offer a variety of materials to guide its use in the classroom. Bee-Bot Lessons contains 100 detailed lesson plans, with accompanying images, for using Bee-Bot to teach across the curriculum. You can use them with any device and create fun and exciting games and lessons with your students and really student lead your classroom.
Daisy the Dinosaur: A final App I will highly recommend that has proven a real joy with my PK students in the past. Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur! This free, fun app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen. Kids will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this app’s challenges.
That’s it everyone, May the Code be with You on December 7th and be sure to check out Dice UP the Classroom the next few weeks as I show you more on coding, Spheros and working hard with Mr. Smetana’s Classroom to get his STEAM Art Room become a reality on Donors Choose.