Kodable iOS Update FAQ

Kodable iOS Update FAQ

If you recently updated Kodable on your iPad, you might have noticed that Kodable looks…a little…different. You’re right!

We have spent the last month improving our iOS version of Kodable, and are now happy to present to you the latest changes to Kodable on the iPad. If you haven’t seen these improvements, be sure to update to the latest version of Kodable on your iPad. You may have a few questions after seeing our latest update, so we have put together a short FAQ below to help you get acclimated to the new version of Kodable. 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why did you change the menu?

Kodable is a modular, comprehensive curriculum, and we wanted our game interface to reflect that. Now, you can seamlessly transition from concept learning guides, to screen-free activities, to in-game lessons, to vocabulary workshops.

How does this new menu teach programming?

Each programming concept we teach is separated into units. Units are now scaffolded into multiple easy-to-digest lesson collections in Kodable. We have seen this boosts learning outcomes and saves teachers time in lesson planning.

Concepts in Kodable

How do I navigate the new menu screen? 

The new menu screen is ordered by concept and each concept is indicated with it’s assigned command in Kodable. An arrow indicates Sequence, a colored tile Conditions, rotating arrows Loops, and brackets symbolize Functions.

Did I lose my student’s progress?

No! All of your student’s progress has been saved, but the order of some of our lessons has been changed slightly. To help with this transition, we’ve included this ‘lesson migration reference’.

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How does this work with the new dashboard?

The curriculum tab on your dashboard now directly matches what students will see on their devices. Each concept in your curriculum tab matches a ‘section’ of the Kodable world. Each unit inside that concept is matched with a collection of lessons in that concept. As students complete lessons, you will see their progress reflected on your class dashboard. You can also be confident that the lessons in the game will directly correlate with the activities, learning guides, and vocabulary lessons we provide for that unit.

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The names in the game don’t match the names on my dashboard!

We’ve found that kids don’t always get excited for games with titles like ‘Sequence Unit 1,’ So we’ve included fun, exciting names for kids that will boost engagement. You can always see the name of the unit that kids will be attempting by going to the curriculum tab and expanding the corresponding unit.

Parent Teacher Portal No Longer Available

Where is the parent teacher portal? 

Due to transitioning to the new Teacher Dashboard, we have temporarily removed the Parent Teacher Portal from the iOS version of Kodable. Let us know what your thoughts are on the PTP by emailing neal@kodable.com

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Where is Bugs Below? 

Bugs Below and debugging concepts are now contained within Sequence, Conditions, Loops, and Functions concepts. After careful consideration, we believe young students should begin developing debugging skills and start practicing these techniques with every concept.

More Questions? 

If you have any further questions about our new iOS version, feel free to comment on this post or reach out and contact us below. 🙂

 

Kodable Road Tour: Day 4

Wow, what a day! Day 4 is in the books for the Kodable Road Tour, and our sessions just keep getting better and better. On this particular day of our programming journey, we arrived in Queens, New York, where we had tons of coding fun with our good friends at the Solomon Schechter School of Queens. 

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What we learned: When choosing a robot for fuzzFamily frenzy…choose wisely! 

One of the unplugged activities that we have had great success with over the course of the Kodable Road Tour thus far is fuzzFamily Frenzy. This activity is a great starter activity for any grade level that is beginning to learn to code, and can be differentiated in a number of different ways to accommodate the skill levels of the students. We have covered sequence, functions, and everything in between in fuzzFamily frenzy so far on our tour, and the students have responded really well.

Students at the Solomon Schechter School were particularly impressed with fuzzFamily Frenzy, and the amazing Rebecca Simon helped us even further differentiate the activity for the benefit of the students. Often Grechen and I are the volunteer robots, but this time around Rebecca arranged for some of the more vocal and outspoken students in her class to serve as the robots in our activity. We found that this worked particularly well because even after the activity ended, these students could be reminded that they had been “coded” in a certain way, and that they had to live up to the expectations of their program. 🙂

This also led to a number of interesting variations of our robot program, including lots of jumping, dancing, and fist pumps.

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Plans for the future: This is only the beginning…

Solomon plans to continue with more unplugged activities, and was thrilled to hear about the new Kodable Curriculum. Rebecca is always looking for more ideas and has done an awesome job at getting more teachers at her school on-board and started coding. Be sure to follow her at @Edtechmorah to learn more about the neat stuff she is doing with coding at her school and share ideas.

Favorite Moment: What to do when the WiFi is not working?

We often talk about our greatest fear when in the classroom…and that is what to do when the WiFi is not working. For a slight moment in our visit…this fear struct all of us. However, not to worry…because we had plenty to do in the meantime! When the WiFi wasn’t working we quickly moved to unplugged, shared devices, and completed Kodable lessons together. Just because a problem comes up doesn’t mean that there is any reason to panic, and this experience clearly demonstrated this. Instead, it gave us a great opportunity to pair program, answer questions, and work together on a number of programming challenges.

The Kodable Road Tour is flying by! Join in on the fun by following our daily updates…and support the cause by buying an AWESOME Kodable T-Shirt. 🙂

Kodable Road Trip T-Shirts

Kodable Road Tour: Day 1

The Kodable Road Tour

Today, we kicked off the first leg of our Kodable Road Tour in Maryland and got off to an AWESOME start!

After beginning our journey eastward on Sunday at 4am local time in San Francisco…

Kodable Road Tour San Francisco
Those are some sleepy faces!

…we arrived in Baltimore ready to rock and roll. It was time to begin teaching some programming!

First Stop

The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland where we talked about loops and binary – and just how many planets the fuzzes should definitely visit!

Lots of collaboration with pair programming!

What we learned: The versatility of going screen free
I’ve always loved the Fuzz Family Frenzy, because it’s simple to explain and a LOT of fun. However, today it was even better. We took the activity a step further and created our own commands as a class to define exactly how many degrees our robot (Neal Rooney) should turn and how high it should jump.

We also talked about how the code gets redundant when you have to repeat “left foot, right foot”. That spurred a great lesson about how loops work and how they’re key to more efficient coding. I’ll definitely be adding that lesson to my tool belt. 🙂

Fuzz Family Frenzy using loops
Here you can see some of our code using loops. (and instructions to jump 2 feet!)

What’s happening in the future: Debi Krulak (@MrsKatBL) plans to integrate coding into more lesson plans as the lower school media specialist. She says knowing where everyone is at with in Kodable helps to know when to stop and spend more time talking about a concept. She had a great idea to use screen free activities as a way to asses how well students are able to apply the lessons they learn in another scenario.

Favorite moment: A comical and adorable conversation about how computers can’t understand sarcasm.

Next, we headed down to Annapolis for our second stop of the day!

IMG_5104

Second Stop

St. Martin’s In-The-Field Episcopal School, where we learned about the great Grace Hopper and that testing our code can prevent bugs.

Team debugging!
A deep discussion involving bugs and testing.

What we learned: Kids understand much more than we think they do

Neal and I talked to a group of first and second graders and then a group of third and fourth graders. It was interesting to see the older students grasp the concepts of sequential thinking and giving a computer commands really quickly.

The extra time gave us the opportunity to try something new and talk about concepts like variables and functions. We presented the new ideas in a simple and easy to digest way: modifying the class’s original Fuzz Family Frenzy code. We added specifics like degrees of a turn, length of our steps, an height of our jumps. We also discussed how that program could be assigned as a function and used again later by calling on the name we gave it.

We had a lot of fun with these brilliant first graders!

What’s happening in the future: Karen White and other teachers at her school are starting an iLab! She’s a firm believer in the power of playing to learn and wants her students to get their hands dirty working with a variety of new technologies.

Favorite moment: Seeing the power of Kodable as a break from testing, and getting to be the run-away robot when we had a bug in our Fuzz Family Frenzy code.

BONUS: We enjoyed a bit of down time at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Wow! It definitely made me a proud American.

Grechen
Boat selfie 😀
Neal
Look! More boats!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day down and another to go! Thank you to both schools for your kindness and hospitality. We’re loving every minute so far and we can’t wait to see more schools!

Also, don’t forget to join the fun and support the Kodable Road Tour! Check out the neat T-Shirts we created just for the trip!

Kodable Road Trip T-Shirts

 

The Kodable Road Tour Starts Now

The Kodable Road Tour

The time for the Kodable Road Tour has finally come! As of this very moment we are putting the finishing touches on our packing, and preparing to embark on our journey to teach programming to schools all across the country.

Here are some quick stats for the Kodable Road Tour:

  • Traveling for 21 days
  • Visiting 15 states
  • Journeying a total of 7,967 miles
  • Holding workshops at 30 schools
  • Working with close to 1,500 students
  • Eating a year’s worth of fast food

Where in the world is Kodable?

Start: Sunnyvale, CA

Kodable Road Trip Baltimore

Destination: Baltimore, MD

Be sure to keep an eye on the blog, as we will keep you up-to-date on our progress and recount our experience at each school we visit. We will also be sharing our stories via Twitter and Facebook.

Finally, don’t forget to order Kodable gear along the way! Check out our awesome Kodable Road Trip T-Shirts.

Kodable Road Trip T-Shirts

#KidsCanCode Chat: Planning A Summer of Code

Planning a Summer of Code
Is it too early to start thinking about summer? Hmmm…we don’t think so! In this week’s #KidsCanCode Chat, we talk all about our coding goals for the summer, including coding camps, clubs, and PD.
Need help coming up with a coding goal for the summer? Looking no further than the chat below for some ideas. 🙂
Chat Questions: 
Q1: SHARE: One coding related goal that you have for this summer.
Q2: PART A: What coding projects have you tackled in past summers?
Q2: PART B: Where will you go for PD this summer?
Q3: Are you planning any coding camps or clubs this summer?
Q4: SHARE: One way to encourage your students to continue coding during the summer months.
Q5: SHARE: One suggestion for those looking to start or enhance their programming curriculum this summer.
And as always, join us Tuesdays at 8pm EST for #KidsCanCode Programming Education Chat! 

Introducing the Kodable Programming Curriculum

Kodable Programming Curriculum for Elementary

When we founded Kodable, we made it our goal to bring programming to every classroom around the world. In order to make this dream a reality, we have decided to take the next step in teaching coding, and transition from a game to a complete programming curriculum. For those just starting out, developing your own coding curriculum can be a daunting task. That’s where we can help. From now on, all of our updates will work to provide teachers with all of the resources, materials, and metrics that they need to teach their students programming. Take a look at the exciting changes we have made so far.

New Features of the Kodable Programming Curriculum

In 2014, we heard a lot of awesome feedback from the Kodable Community about how to make Kodable even better. You spoke, we listened, and we are now thrilled to introduce the new Kodable Programming Curriculum.

Native Desktop Application (Currently In Beta)

Kodable Desktop Application

Kodable can now be accessed and played right from your desktop. Kodable Desktop works with any hardware, and syncs all student data to the cloud so they can resume their progress on any device.

Administrative Tools (NEW) 


Kodable School Teachers can now manage multiple Teacher Accounts from one Administrative Account. Invite existing teachers, create new accounts, and view all of your classes/students from one dashboard.

Redesigned Dashboard (UPDATES COMING THROUGHOUT MARCH)

Class Dashboard (New)

Easily manage, view, and track class/student progress from your Teacher Account Dashboard. See what standards your class has completed, and quickly identify students that are struggling.

Kodable Dashboards Assignments

Plan, organize, and access your lessons from the new Assignments tab. Create a custom lesson playlist, or use the provided lesson guides to help you conquer your first programming lessons.

Learning Guides & Curriculum Activities (SNEEK PEEK) 

Kodable Learning Guide: Sequence

Prepare to teach your students Sequence and Condition programming concepts with our revised Learning Guides. Make connections to programming concepts outside of Kodable with unplugged activities for your classroom.

Try our new Sequence Activity –>

In Case You Missed It: Recent Updates

Add More Free Students to Your Class 

Add up to 30 students to your Teacher Account

You can now add up to 30 students to your Free Teacher Account. Take full advantage of your Kodable Free Trial and add your entire class to begin saving and tracking student progress.

New Pricing 

Kodable Curriculum Materials

Pricing for Kodable is now simpler than ever.  Purchase a site license for your entire school at a single flat rate, and get access to the complete Kodable Curriculum– now and forever.

Fresh Website Design (NEW)

Kodable Programming Curriculum

Visit Kodable.com and take a look at our redesigned homepage. If you have not signed up for a Teacher Account, enroll in a Free Trial and begin teaching your students to code.

Kodable Web 

Kodable Web

You can now visit game.kodable.com to start playing Kodable anytime, anywhere, right from your Internet Browser.

 

Even more changes are on the way. Contact neal@kodable.com with any questions. 🙂 

 

#KidsCanCode Chat: Connecting Classrooms with Coding

Connecting Classrooms with Coding
In this week’s #KidsCanCode Chat we are joined by @flatfuzzproject to talk about Connecting Classrooms with Coding! Why is it important to connect students with other classrooms and share coding stories? How have you connected your classroom with other programmers locally and globally? We chat about all this and more:
  • Q1: Why is it important to connect students with other classrooms and share coding stories? #KidsCanCode
  • Q2: How have you connected virtually with other classrooms and shared your programming stories? #KidsCanCode
  • Q3: How have you shared coding activities within your own building? #KidsCanCode
  • Q4: How can you make connecting with other classrooms a regular activity? #KidsCanCode
  • Q5: How do you connect coding activities to local or global issues? #KidsCanCode
  • Q6: Is it important to connect with the same grade level as your class? If not, what age/grade range works best? #KidsCanCode
Don’t forget to sign up for the Flat Fuzz Project to start sharing your coding stories!
Sign up for the flat fuzz project
Join us Tuesdays 8pm EST for #KidsCanCode Chat 🙂  

Learn to Code: New Sequence Activity

Learn to Code: Sequence

Teach your students the fundamentals of sequence with our new fuzzFamily Fever activity! Worksheets and directions are included and available for download below. Happy coding!

Overview

  • Time frame — About 30-45 minutes
  • The fuzzFamily has crash-landed on the planet Smeeborg and needs your help! Fill in the boxes below each maze with the correct commands and cardinal directions to navigate the fuzzFamily to safety.

Materials

  • Pencil
  • fuzzFamily Fever Handout (Download Below)
  • Kodable
  • SMART Board or Project (optional)

 

Learn to Code: Sequence Activity

We have more activities coming soon! Check back for updates. 🙂

#KidsCanCode Chat: Funding My Coding Dreams

Funding My Coding Dreams #KidsCanCode Chat
We all have a technology wish list…but where to find funding?  In this #KidsCanCode Chat we not only add to your wish list (unintentionally, I swear), but we come up with some great ideas for fundraising, finding grants, crowdfunding, and getting the $$$ you need.
  • Q1: What kind of tech are you trying to fund and for what purpose? #KidsCanCode
  • Q2: How have you targeted budgets within your school/district with available funds for tech? #KidsCanCode
  • Q3: What are some resources and methods for finding grants, awards, and sponsorships? #KidsCanCode
  • Q4: SHARE: Resources to help you write a grant proposal #KidsCanCode
  • Q5: SHARE: Your preferred crowdfunding site for classroom tech. #KidsCanCode
  • Q6: What is one important thing you learned from your last funding campaign? #KidsCanCode
Join us Tuesdays 8pm EST for #KidsCanCode Chat! 

#KidsCanCode: Random Coding Questions Chat

#KidsCanCode Random Questions Chat

It’s time again for another Random Questions Chat! This time around, we answer everyone’s most pressing questions including:

  • Q1: What is your ideal setup for collaborative coding look like in elementary?
  • Q2: What are your favorite coding projects for Ss to engage and excite them?
  • Q3: Where is the easiest/simplest place to start with kinder Ss?
  • Q4: How much learning vs. how much exploring in our second year of coding club?
  • Q5: What are the best hands-on products to use in teaching coding?
  • Q6: How much coding should one know before introducing it to their students?
  • Q7: Has anyone ever used Legos EV3 robotics?

Chat with us every Tuesday at 8pm EST for #KidsCanCode Chat! Next week: Funding My Coding Dreams