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. 🙂

 

#KodableRoadTour: Show Everyone Your Programming Skills

Kodable Road Tour Swag

The #KodableRoadTour is moving at lightning speed! We have already visited over 20 schools in 10 states, and we don’t plan on slowing down. 🙂

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Were you a stop on the #KodableRoadTour and want to show off your programming skills? Or do you just love Kodable and want to support the future of children’s programming? Get some #KodableRoadTour Swag!

Kodable Road Trip T-Shirts

Be sure to also check out our daily blog posts from all of our stops to learn more about our adventures, as well as what other classrooms are doing with coding around the country.

 

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 Trip: Day 3

The Kodable Road Tour

Neal and I kicked off day three bright and early in Maplewood, NJ, where we were enjoying some great New England spring time weather. 😀

First Stop: Clinton Elementary

Welcome to Clinton Library!
Welcome to Clinton Library!

What we learned: 

We did some advanced looping with the third grade coders of Clinton Elementary. The students we talked to all showed great interest in learning to code, so we decided to jump in to loops during the unplugged activity. After doing the unplugged version of loops, we projected Kodable on the SMART board, so everyone could see how loops work in the game. We solved a couple lessons together, and talked about how these loops are different from loops they’ve done in other programs. Once everyone said they felt comfortable, we handed out the iPads for them to try on their own and in groups.

Take away: Talking about how the loops worked differently, solving a few lessons together, and preparing with discussion, helped the actual individual work go really smoothly.

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Favorite moment: During our conversation on bugs in programming, we diverted on to a science lesson on why insects are different from arachnids. Without thinking, I said arachnids were not bugs – WRONG! I was quickly reminded that arachnids are, indeed bugs. 🙂 +1 to Clinton Elementary first grade scientists.

Question for the Kodable community: Do you know any good programming books for kids?
The great Jen Latimer is looking for some titles to add to their selection and I thought our #KidsCanCode and Kodable family would be the best place to start. Leave any suggestions in the comments or tweet at Jen personally: @jenlatimer

Some ideas:

Hello Ruby” – by Linda Liukas

What do you do with an Idea?” – by Kobi Yamada (Not programming, but still great. I just bought it for my niece)

Second Stop: Marshall Hill School

Marshall Hill School
Look at all those lovely fuzzes!

What we learned: 

Conditions have always been one of the hardest things for me to explain. I’m always trying new ways to make such an abstract concept seem more concrete. Logically, it is simple to understand, “If this, then that,”  but because it is such a logical expression it is hard to make it concrete in language the littles can understand.

Today, I tried out a new way of explaining it: “When your mom is giving directions to your dad when he is driving, how does he know when to turn? If she doesn’t tell him to turn he’ll keep doing straight. We have to give the fuzzes specific instructions telling them where to turn, or they’ll keep going straight. We give them the signal to turn by using colors.”

I’m going to keep trying this as we continue on the road tour. Perhaps it will make it’s way into the next revision of the Kodable Learning Guide on Conditions. Will you give it a try? Let me know how it goes in the comments!

IMG : Expert coders working on conditions.
Expert coders working on conditions.

Favorite moment: Seeing all of the beautiful fuzzes the kids had colored for us. The walls were covered with new fuzz ideas! <3

The future: 

Everyone at Marshall Hill is on board with coding. It was wonderful to see all of the staff so engaged and excited about getting their students in to programming. Cindy Ranieri and Laura Oaks (@LauraOakes31) are doing a great job of building a community around coding, and they hope to continue that next year with more integration.

 

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: Demystifying Coding

Demystifying Coding

Why is coding often perceived as being overly complicated? What can be done to demystify coding in your school? These are the topics of discussion in this week’s #KidsCanCode programming education chat. 🙂

Chat Questions:

Q1: SHARE: The first thought you had when looking at a line of code for the first time.

Q2: How did you get started teaching CS?

Q3: Why do you think coding is often perceived as being overly complicated?

Q4: PART A: What do you find most intimidating about teaching/learning CS?

Q4: PART B: What have you done or can you do to make these things less intimidating?

Q5: What have you done to demystify coding in your school?

Q6: AGREE or DISAGREE: The hardest part about teaching/learning CS is simply getting started.

Don’t forget to share your current coding projects and basic information in our #KidsCanCode Community Directory! We would like to create a great networking resource! 

#KidsCanCode Chat happens every Tuesday at 8pm on Twitter! Join us next time!

#KidsCanCode Chat: Educator Identity

Educator Identity

We all come from different educational backgrounds, teach many subjects, and have varying responsibilities–but we do have one thing in common. We all teach CS/programming! Let’s chat about our roles as CS educators.

Chat Questions:

Q1: PART A: What subject do you teach? Classroom/homeroom teacher, special area, CS, core subject? #KidsCanCode

Q1: PART B: What is your educational background? #KidsCanCode

Q2: PART A: How much of your responsibilities consist of programming education? #KidsCanCode

Q2: PART B: Is coding part of your lesson plans, or something you added because you wanted to? #KidsCanCode

Q3: PART A: Why is it important for students to learn to code? #KidsCanCode

Q3: PART B: How would you define your role as a CS educator? #KidsCanCode

Q4: How do you define success as a CS educator? #KidsCanCode

Q5: Where do you go for your PD? How do you connect and/or collaborate with other educators? #KidsCanCode

Join us next Tuesday at 8pm for #KidsCanCode Education Chat! 

#KidsCanCode Chat: Measuring Programming ‘Success’

Measuring Programming Success

Often, when programming solutions can be subjective, how do you define success? How do you assess students’ grasp of key programming concepts? This week we discuss how we can best measure programming success.

Chat Questions:

  • Q1: What key programming concepts do you teach?
  • Q2: How do you assess whether or not a student has mastered a programming concept?
  • Q3: How do you report/share your success with administrators/colleagues?
  • Q4: What do you suggest for Ss who are ready to move on to more advanced learning?
  • Q5: How do you measure your own learning when it comes to teaching programming?
  • Q6: When programming solutions can be subjective, how do you define success?

Join us next week for another Random Questions Chat. Submit all your burning questions that you need answered, and our #KidsCanCode community can deliver ➜ Ask a Question

#KidsCanCode Chat is every Tuesday at 8pm EST 🙂

#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 🙂