The first time that I wanted to stay after school was in the sixth grade. In sixth grade we could stay after school to use Logo Writer. My friend Sean and I had a great time building some simple programs that we ran on the two computers in our teacher’s room. Today, students can learn programming on their iPads. Here are three free apps that students can use to learn programming on their iPads.
Daisy the Dinosaur is a free iPad app designed to introduce young students to some programming basics. The app asks students to create commands for Daisy the Dinosaur to carry out. There is a free play mode in which students can make Daisy do whatever they want. But to get started you might want to have students work through the beginner challenges mode. Daisy the Dinosaur could be used with students as young as Kindergarten age. For older students older than eight or nine, try one of the following two apps.
Cargo Bot is a fun and challenging game that students can play to learn some principles of logic and programming. The object of the game is to program a robot to complete increasingly complex sequences of tasks. Students start out by programming the robot to move one box from point A to point B. After successfully programming the robot students are advanced to programming more complex tasks like a repeating loop of movements and staggered movements.
Kodable is an iPad app that introduces children to logic and programming through a simple visual interface. The app present students with a series of mazes through which they have to guide the “Fuzz” character. To guide Fuzz through the mazes students have to drag and drop boxes into place. On the beginning levels students can move one block at a time and see the results quickly. As the levels get more difficult students have to start to think a few moves ahead.