Best iOS apps to teach computer coding to kids
Roughly a year ago, two brothers, Ali Partovi and Hadi Partovi launched a non-profit organization aimed at getting the American public to embrace the idea of learning computer coding. Since then even the President has jumped on board nad asked that students in the US all learn to code. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry, there are actually apps for this! Below are a few of our favorite iOS apps to help teach kids to code, and if you need some cash to purchase the apps, just head over to the Apple Store and grab an iTunes gift card while netting yourself 1.5 percent Cash Back in the process.
Get your kids to start coding at a young age with Move The Turtle. The app is appropriate for anyone five years older and up and teaches them the basics of programming via challenges and rewards that keep kids coming back. Users can share their procedures, see commands used in others’ procedures and import procedures from their desktop into the app. The app works on both iPhone and iPad and teaches kids things like how to plan complex activities, how to reuse completed work and how to use graphics and spatial orientation in programming.
Robo Logic 2 HD teaches kids how to allocate the right amount of memory for a programming project via a fun game. Users have to program a robot’s movements through a maze, but they can only use a specific amount of “memory.” Therefore, kids end up having to learn how to utilize re-usable functions that don’t draw more memory from the bot than is necessary. It’s not strictly a programming tutorial but it teaches one of the most valuable concepts of programming in memory allocation.
HopScotch teaches kids aged 9-12 how to program characters that move, draw and collide with each other. Inspired by MIT’s “Scratch,” it teaches kids to create games, animations and other programs via a vibrant and interactive environment. It won the 2013 Parents’ Choice Gold Award and the 2014 Children’s Technology Review: Best Educational Technology awards.
Cargo-Bot finds users programming a robot to teach it to move crates. It teaches kids to code by making coding the only way to get the robot to move the desired crates. It bills itself as a game “about coding, coded completely on the iPad”, which is a fun idea even if most iPad games are probably also only coded on the iPad. Regardless, the visually interesting game is sure to keep kids engaged when a spreadsheet of numbers might not.
Circuit Coder is a simulator for building digital circuits. Gamers have to produce a specific output given a set of inputs provided by the game using logic gates, flip-flops and other circuitry ideas. While it might go over the heads of younger kids, more experienced teens looking for a challenge might appreciate the increasing difficulty as the game progresses.
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