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 8

After a long drive from Chicago, we kicked off Day 8 in Minnesota (said in MN accent) ;P. Today, we visited 3 schools!! Wow, what a jam packed day…but so much to share!

Our First Stop: Deephaven Elementary

What we learned: Kodable works to perfection when you set up a class beforehand

Most times when we finish our screen-free activity and move to setting up students with iPads, there is a little confusion and it takes some time to get students set up. Not in Minnetonka! Thanks to Jeremy Engebretson (@JEngebretson75) and the amazing teachers at Deephaven, the students were already organized into a class on Kodable, and were very familiar with the login procedures. In less than 2 minutes, each student was playing Kodable and the workshop was moving along again.

Take away: Organize your students into a class to save time and the headache

Since each student was already in a class, they could easily sign in on their iPad and did not have to waste time searching for the correct iPad or creating an account. Each student was able to begin exactly where they left off, and were quickly engaged without any distraction. This made for a seamless transition, and minimized the amount of time students could disengage for the lesson. The time spent adding students to a class led to an enormous amount of time saved down the road during lessons. This makes a huge difference when you have a limited amount of programming time and every minute counts.

Memorable moment: Let’s test our code!

Throughout the course of the workshop we watched many students input a small amount of code and begin testing to see how far the fuzz would roll before they received an error message. This reminded us the importance of trying and testing our code, as well as not being afraid of failure. This is a concept that we want to try to stress in Kodable, as it is immensely important for programmers when they are writing a program or debugging.

What’s down the road?

Coding coordinators at Deephaven are making a coding curriculum/plan for each grade level. This past year has gone so well that they are planning on doing even more in the future, and making coding an even bigger part of their everyday curriculum.

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Our Second Stop: Glen Lake 

What we learned: Lessons can be applied at many ages

In Glen Lake we switched things up and completed a Kodable workshop with a class of 6th graders! Fresh off a morning of working with 1st graders, we were a little out of our element at first, but quickly hit our stride once we began talking with the students. This experience taught us that any programming concept can be adapted for older students, and can work quite well. We had great discussions surrounding programming, fielded a number of difficult questions, and also learned a lot while playing Kodable.

Memorable Moment: Complete a challenging level together and hearing the cheers as the fuzz attempted to roll through the maze each time

In this particular session, we decided to complete one of the most challenging levels of Kodable together, and see if we could encourage our students to program the fuzz through the maze using the most efficient code possible. This turned out to be an exhilarating experience as the fuzz almost made it through the maze a number of times, but not quite. Eventually we got it, and we were very happy that we chose to do a level together.

What’s next?

Colette Kastner’s student’s were very interested in how we got started and involved with Kodable, and the route we took to get there. Many of the students asked how they could begin to learn to code on their own, and we provided them with a number of resources such as our How I Taught Myself to Code series where they could find some things to get started. Looking forward to hearing how things continue to progress into the future. 🙂

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Our final stop: Groveland Elementary

What we learned: Explain thatlLoops are not just for adding more spaces

Many students when working on loops levels in Kodable simply like to use the looper to add more boxes so that they can complete their code. To avoid this, we spoke a lot to the students about identifying patterns in each of the technomazes in Kodable. When working with a student, I would always start off by asking them if they noticed any patterns in the maze in front of them. If they did, I would instruct them to then look at the number of boxes available in the command bin. If there did not seem to be that many boxes, then I loop would most likely need to be used.

Additionally, we also stressed utilizing iterations for each of the loop. Each loop should never be used just once, but should be used at least twice. When we showed many of the students the benefits of tapping on the looper and increasing the number of iterations, many abandoned the previous methods and started utilizing the loops in a more efficient manner.

Memorable Moment: Seeing the students learning and communicating in Spanish

While we were visiting Groveland, we were fortunate enough to visit one of their Spanish immersion classes, where…you guessed it…all of the students spoke Spanish! This was the first time that we had ever taught programming in another language, and we were a little intimidated at first. However, Grechen and I tried our best to use our limited Spanish language knowledge to fit in and help the students as much as possible.

 

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What a whirlwind of a day! Check in again to hear more about more of our adventures in Minnetonka tomorrow. 🙂

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: 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

#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: Programming Concepts for Elementary

Programming Concepts for Elementary
We often hear that many want to get started teaching programming, but are a little confused as to what concepts to teach. Should I start with Sequence? How do I teach conditions? Where do I go from here? This week, we reached out to the #KidsCanCode community and came up with a ton of answers as to what programming concepts to include in your coding curriculum.
Chat Questions:
  • Q1: What coding concepts do you teach your elementary students?
  • Q2: What is the best programming concept to start with when teaching beginners?
  • Q3: What programming concepts and corresponding activities are best suited for grades 3-5?
  • Q4: How do you decide what coding concepts to include in your programming curriculum or coding club?
  • Q5: SHARE: An elementary coding concept you connected with a core academic subject
  • Q6: (PART 1) Share a programming concept you wish you knew more about.
  • Q6: (PART 2) How will you learn more about this coding concept? Suggested resources?
What do you want to chat about next week? 
We are always taking suggestions for #KidsCanCode Chat topics. If you have an idea, take a moment to share it with us –> #KidsCanCode Chat Suggestions
Join us for #KidsCanCode Education Chat EVERY Tuesday 8pm EST

#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 Chat: Squeezing Coding into My Curriculum

Squeezing Coding into My Curriculum
In this week’s chat we are joined by special guest moderator @tcarey98, who is here to chat about inquiry-based coding activities, making coding an ongoing project, and encouraging students to dive deeper into coding.

Join us Tuesdays at 8pm EST for #KidsCanCode Chat!