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 10

After 2 great days in Minnesota, we headed south to Sioux City, Iowa where we spent the day with Loess Hills Elementary doing PD sessions and programming workshops with a wonderful crew!

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What we learned: Connecting coding to the common core

Loess Hills spoke at length with us about their desire to continue expanding their coding curriculum, but also their plans to integrate it with the common core. We spent our PD session brainstorming and demonstrating how Kodable can be integrated with the CCSS. It also taught us the importance of making this connection easier in Kodable, and this is something that we plan on adding in the future. As of right now, we have a list of the common core standards that Kodable aligns with, but many of these are math standards. After our PD sessions and workshops, we realized that we should work on making Kodable align with more reading standards, and we came up with some great ideas together to make this a possibility in the future. So thanks to the team at Loess Hills, look for many more exciting changes to come!

Favorite Moment: Functions??!

When we began our lesson with Loess Hill 2nd graders we planned to cover loops at the most to challenge them, but we quickly saw that they were quite advanced and ready for functions! After we wrote our first line of code for our robot and went to write a second, one of the students immediately responded that a loop would be appropriate in this situation. In addition to this, another student countered that a function would probably make more sense given what our goals were for the program. Wow! Needless to say, we were very impressed. 🙂

The Future: Curriculum integration and making more time for coding

Loess Hills is doing great with teaching coding so far, but thanks to Polly Meissner (@libraryPolly), Layne Henn (@sctechbuzz), and many others, they plan to expand this in the future. This means more time spent coding, and further integration into the school curriculum with more teachers onboard and taking part.

Thank you everyone for the warm reception at Loess Hills! We hope to get back to check in again in the future. 🙂

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Off to Texas!!

Kodable Road Tour: Day 7

After finishing Day 6 of our #KodableRoadTour in Boston, we decided to switch things up a little bit and flew to Chicago to check out what was happening in programming education in the Midwest! Today’s stops included: Chicago Jewish Day School and Middlefork School.

Stop #1: Chicago Jewish Day School

We arrived in Chicago late Monday night, and were ready to get started coding when we were warmly welcomed to Chicago Jewish Day School on Tuesday morning. 🙂

What we learned: Ask 3 then me rule is a lifesaver

As the students progress in Kodable, it can get challenging. Sometimes, when a student first looks at a level, they turn to look at you, and immediately feel that they are going to need help. Most time however, this is not the case! At Chicago Jewish Day School we found that the ask 3 then me rule worked to perfection, and students worked even better when they collaborated with each other to solve a Kodable lesson. When a student asked me for help, the first thing I would ask them is if they had consulted a friend first. After this, all of them were eager to go to their classmates for help, and this turned out to be an amazing learning experience for all.

Favorite moment: Labeling your iPads by state and animals is a fantastic idea

When we were helping Alex pass out her students iPad’s at Chicago Jewish Day School, we noticed that some sported the names of states and others had animals names on the back/front. When calling out and asking the students whose iPad was West Virginia, we realized that this was a great idea to organize the iPads in this way. Students were asking for the names of various states and animals while receiving their iPads to begin coding, making for a great learning experience. We are always coming across some amazing techniques as we travel to classrooms across the country, but this one was particularly original and also quite funny. Never thought I would see a student calling out for Oregon or searching so hard for California.

The future forecast: Sunny, with a chance of more coding!

Alex and her students were excited to complete the unplugged fuzzFamily frenzy activity, and were also thrilled to do more with Kodable in the future. We were really excited to be able to stop by and see how far they have gotten already with coding. We are always so impressed by our young learners, but especially the students we met at Chicago Jewish Day School.

Stop #2: Middlefork School 

What we learned: Explaining conditions by testing

While at Middlefork School we discovered a great new way to help teach conditions to your students in Kodable. Conditions can be tough, and we often are brainstorming and trying to find new ways to explain them to our young learners. However, Grechen and I found during this particular session that a good way to help the students learn is by helping them first go over their options and test.

When presented with a condition:

First, instruct the student to simply not use a condition, and watch what the fuzz does when it rolls. 

Next, instruct the student to try the same segment of code when using a condition, and discover what happens then. 

We found that presenting students with all their options really clarified the function of conditions, and cemented in the idea of when it was necessary to use a condition, and when one was not needed.

Another good way to present conditions in Kodable is as a decision making tile. Does your fuzz need to change direction? If yes, then you need a condition, if no, then a condition is not necessary.

 

Favorite moment: At the end of our workshop we met with Jen’s coding club for a great question and answer session. And we for sure were not disappointed! One question we received from a student very interested in coding was particularly impressive, and even had us talking for awhile after the workshop concluded. This particular student was a 3rd grader, and asked us if “we chose to code Kodable in Java because it is platform independent?” From a 3rd grader! It just goes to show that the sooner that students are introduced to programming the sooner they can start doing and learning amazing things. I never thought in my life that I would hear the words Java come out of a students mouth when speaking about programming.

The future: Much more things to come courtesy of Jen Gilbert! (@msgilbertrocks)

Jen always stays super busy and has a number of projects in the works. 🙂 Jen hopes to increase the amount of time that her students are able to program during the week, as well as add more resources and tools to her growing programming curriculum. Jen has a very successful coding club and has generated a lot of interest amongst her students, but she hopes that she can also continue to expand this, meeting more and taking on more coding projects/challenges. And of course, Jen plans to continue using Kodable! 🙂

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Thanks so much to our Day 7 teachers, students, and schools!

Kodable Road Trip: Day 2

The Kodable Road Tour

Today, the #KodableRoadTrip took us to Wilmington, DE and Newtown Square, PA, where we got a chance to visit with some awesome teachers and students preparing to take programming to the next level!

First Stop: Tatnall School

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What we learned: It’s never too early to start learning loops 

When we first began our lesson with Tatnall’s 3rd graders, we expected to cover the basics of sequence, debugging, and review/practice the specificity needed to create a detailed and effective computer program. However, once we were 5 minutes into our lesson, we realized that our 3rd graders needed more of a challenge, and were ready to take on more advanced programming concepts. Our fuzzFamily frenzy screen-free activity soon transformed into a loopy lesson, and students began explaining/demonstrating when to use a loop, how to create one, and why they are important for programmers. In the startup world, it is always important to know when to pivot when working on your product, and the same can be true in the classroom when teaching a programming lesson as well!

What’s happening in the future 

Colleen Hoban spoke with us at length about her amazing and ambitious plans to organize a Parent Tech Night for Tatnall School. Once the school completes a few wifi fixes, she plans to get started and is looking for more ideas. We did our best to offer our advice, but we would like to hear from more educators as well! Please send some tips to Colleen via Twitter @ColleenHoban.

Favorite/Most Memorable Moment: “What is binary?”

We all had a good laugh when Grechen began “reviewing” with Tatnall’s 1st graders the basics of binary. After a few confused looks, our 1st graders quickly reminded us that we had never spoken to them about binary. Grechen was a little reluctant to admit her senior moment, but I believe that one of the basic tenets as an Elementary School teacher is that 1st graders are a little like elephants, they never forget.

Moral of the story: Never question 1st graders memory.

Second Stop: Episcopal Academy

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What we learned: The importance of smooth transitions 🙂 

Our 1st grade students at Episcopal were immediately ready for a challenge once we walked through the door, and we quickly dove into the basics of functions (I know! Amazing, right?!),  even writing a detailed program in pseudocode. After 3 students successfully acted out our program as a robot, we jumped into trying a few functions lessons in Kodable. While there were many students that made this transition seamlessly, as we walked around the room, we realized that there were a few students that could have used a few more examples or some extra help. With the help and experience of the wonderful Maggie Powers (@mpowers3), we were able to help these students along and completed a very successful coding session.

Take away point: Never be afraid to walk through lessons together in Kodable after an unplugged activity. It can only help, and ensure that students have a firm grasp of a new programming concept.

Favorite/Most Memorable Moment: “Mr. Neal, is Kodable supposed to work this way?”

My favorite moment at Episcopal Academy came when a student asked me to come take a look at a problem he was having in Kodable. Now, to provide a little background, when we rigorously test Kodable in our office, many times we do not have enough time or the resources on hand to put an update through the 6-8 finger test. The 6-8 finger test generally comes into play when 3 or 4 students get so excited about Kodable, they all tap the screen at the same time, resulting in some interesting behavior. Our young student managed to find an interesting bug putting Kodable through the 6-8 finger test, and we had a great talk about how sometimes there is not just a bug when playing Kodable, but there are actual real-life bugs in the game itself. He seemed to have stumbled upon the latter, and we provided him with a sticker for being an awesome beta tester.

Memorable Moment Part 2: “Let me explain to you the details of game animation…and python” 

Sometimes, I am just amazed at what students already know. Case in point, an Episcopal Academy student explained to us the details of game animation, articulating exactly how it works, while another suggested that Python would be a great programming language to work. After moments like these, I often have to remind myself who the one is giving the presentation and who is the first grader.

Day 2 is in the books! Don’t forget to support and join in on the fun for the Kodable Road Tour and order a #KodableRoadTour T-Shirt!

Kodable Road Trip T-Shirts

 

#KidsCanCode Chat: Creating a Coding Workshop

Creating a Coding Workshop

Organizing a programming workshop may be exactly what you need to get your school excited about programming. In this week’s chat, we talk about what works best, and how to structure your very own coding workshop.

Chat Questions:

Q1: What are the benefits of student/educator/parent coding workshops?

Q2: What types of coding workshops have you organized or attended in the past?

Q3 PART A: What did you like best about these workshops?

Q3 PART B: What could have been done differently, or where could these workshops improve?

Q4 PART A: What activities work best for a student coding workshop?

Q4 PART B: What content should be covered in a coding workshop for educators?

Q5: How do you organize/structure a workshop to help build excitement around programming?

Join us Tuesdays at 8pm EST on Twitter for #KidsCanCode Programming Education Chat

#KidsCanCode Chat: Coding and Problem Solving

Coding and Problem Solving
When students learn to code, they also learn how to problem solve. In this edition of #KidsCanCode Education Chat, we discuss the importance of practicing problem solving through coding.

Chat Questions

Q1: What skills do Ss develop learning to code?

Q2: How does CS and learning to code teach Ss problem solving?

Q3: SHARE: A coding activity that challenged your Ss to use problem-solving skills.

Q4: Which coding concepts place the greatest demand on Ss problem solving ability?

Q5: How do you encourage Ss to use skills/concepts learned & practiced in CS in other subjects?

Q6: SHARE: A proud moment when your Ss demonstrated excellent problem solving skills learned through coding.

Q7: AGREE or DISAGREE: Learning to code prepares Ss for real life situations regardless of whether or not they become a programmer.

Join us every Tuesday at 8pm EST for #KidsCanCode Chat! 

The Kodable Programming Curriculum is LIVE!

It’s been awhile in the making, but we are proud to announce that the new Kodable Curriculum is now LIVE and can be accessed right from your Kodable Teacher Dashboard! To explore these exciting new changes simply:

1. Visit Kodable.com

2. Login to your Teacher Account in the top right hand corner:

3. And voilà! Welcome to your new Kodable Programming Curriculum!

Kodable Programming Curriculum Dashboard

What’s included in the new Kodable Programming Curriculum?

Thousands of educators have been teaching their students basic programming concepts with Kodable for over a year. The focus of the new Kodable Programming Curriculum is to make teaching these coding concepts even easier.

Organized by concept, the new Kodable Programming Curriculum is a step-by-step guide to teaching your students the basics of programming.

Teaching Programming by Concept

Kodable Programming Curriculum: Sequence

The Kodable Programming Curriculum covers the most important programming concepts for beginners:

  • Sequence
  • Conditions
  • Loops
  • Functions
  • Variables (Coming Soon!)

Teaching programming concepts can often be intimidating, and sometimes it is difficult to know where to start.

Don’t worry! 

In the new Kodable Programming Curriculum we divide each programming concept into digestible and time efficient units. These units are also chock-full of teaching resources to help you along the way:

  • Concept Learning Guides
  • Unplugged Activities
  • Kodable Lessons
  • Lesson Answer Keys
  • Concept Vocabulary

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Brand New Programming Lessons

To supplement the new Kodable Programming Curriculum we have also added brand new Kodable lessons for the following programming concepts:

  • Sequence
  • Algorithms
  • Debugging

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More coming soon!

Over the course of the next few months, we will be adding resources and making improvements to the curriculum. So keep an eye out for future updates!

Kodable Web

The Kodable Road Tour

The Kodable Road Tour

Pack up the minivan, we’re hitting the road! The Kodable Team is dedicating the month of May to visiting as many schools as possible to teach programming, and we want your school to be on our list!

Fill out an application to apply and make your school one of our stops along our incredibly coding journey. Space is limited, so please only enter your information if you are seriously interested. 🙂

The Kodable Road Tour

#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! 

New Kodable Dashboard is Live

Exciting news from Kodable HQ! After finishing up some major updates to Kodable Web, we are ready to release our new Teacher Dashboard! As of this moment, our new Teacher Dashboard is live and available for Public Beta in your Kodable Teacher Account.

To start using the new Kodable Dashboard, follow these instructions:

1. Visit Kodable.com

2. Log into your Teacher Account

3. Click on link in the header to try the new dashboard!

Kodable Dashboard Public Beta

4. Presto! Welcome to your new Teacher Dashboard!

Kodable Dashboard is ready to use

What’s new on the Teacher Dashboard?

Our new Kodable Teacher Dashboard is loaded with a ton of new features to help you with get the most out of your Kodable Curriculum.

View CCSS Standards in Progress and Completed

You can complete many CCSS standards using Kodable. Take a look at what standards your students are working on, and which ones they have completed.

CCSS Standards in progress and completed

View Lessons Completed

Quickly glance at your class’ progress and see what lessons they have yet to complete.

Quickly view your progress

Manage Administrator Access

Kodable School account holders can now easily manage their school’s Teacher Accounts from a single page.

Manage your teacher accounts as an administrator

View Assignments and Curriculum Resources

Introducing the new Kodable Curriculum! Learn Sequence, Conditions, Loops, Functions, and Debugging using Kodable’s learning guides, unplugged activities, video tutorials, and lessons.

Assignments Tab in Kodable

View and Edit all of your students

Quickly view and edit all of your students in every class from a single page.

View All Students and make bulk changes

 Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!