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Top 10 Programming Apps for The Classroom

April 14th 2022| Josh Cookson

Top 10 Programming Apps for The Classroom

As time goes by and new and improved technologies and apps are released, the way we not only work but also think is changing. Coding plays a huge part in the things we use daily, and programming is becoming an increasingly popular career choice amongst those in high school and college, with more and more opting to go to university to further study the world of programming and computer science. Given this, it’s extremely important that we teach these wonderful skills to children at an early age through fun and entertaining methods.

Apple devices have long been the home of high quality, educational based apps with Apple’s strict policy of only the highest quality apps being available to download. Children’s coding apps have been no exception, so I’ve decided to compile a list in no particular order of my Top 10 choices for coding apps on iPhone and iPad.

codeSPARK Academy – FREE With In-App Purchases

Winner of multiple awards, codeSPARK Academy is one of the best places for children to learn the basics of coding between the ages of 5-10. With a word free interface and utilising visual programming languages, the app is perfect for children to learn programming and computer science concepts such as pattern recognition, problem-solving, sequencing, loops and much more!

ScratchJr – FREE

ScratchJr allows children aged between 5-7 to learn important programming skills using colourful graphical blocks. Children use this visual programming to learn to solve problems, design projects and express themselves through the comfort of a tablet. Supporting early-childhood numeracy and literacy, Scratch are correct when they say their app doesn’t just make ‘Children learn to code, they code to learn’.

Hopscotch – FREE With In-App Purchases

For children in UKS2 and above, Hopscotch provides a fantastic introduction to block-based programming, with more advanced techniques than apps designed for those who are younger. With no syntax errors thanks to block programming, it means that children are free to go wild with their imaginations and let their creativity flow through. Children can even upload their creations for their classmates, friends and family to play too!

Kodable – FREE With In-App Purchases

An award-winning app, Kodable is designed for ages 4-10 but is even suitable for pre-readers, and the skillset ranges all the way to beginners in Javascript. There are age-appropriate games and activities that help to transition children from learning how to think like a programmer to writing real code using Kodable’s custom user interface! The app also comes with grab and go lesson plans for teachers to use too.

LEGO Boost – FREE With Optional Creative Toolbox Purchase From LEGO

Would it even be a list if we didn’t feature LEGO in it?! LEGO Boost brings creations to life, with more than 60 activities available with drag-n-drop coding. And you can take the interactivity to the next level by building a life robot and using the drag-n-drop coding to issue commands to the robot. The app can also be used to control other LEGO-based creations that support the function. The LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox is sold separately.

Spritebox – FREE

I’m not sure I know a single person who doesn’t enjoy the classic Super Mario Bros. game back from the days of NES. With Spritebox, children get their chance to visually code their own version of a Super Mario Bros. style game with colourful graphics and an easy to use user interface. Children will even get to learn basic JAVA and SWIFT through a touch and go system.

Nancy Drew Codes and Clues – FREE With In-App Purchases

You may have already heard of the Nancy Drew character, she’s one of the stars of numerous mystery book series working as an amateur sleuth. A development team have taken the Nancy Drew concept and licensed it to make a children’s coding app! Children can learn critical thinking, reading and basic coding skills and code Nancy’s robot puppy in this story-based hidden object game! It’s a six-chapter story, so children have plenty to go at in this wonderful app.

Code Karts – Pre-coding Logic – FREE With In-App Purchases

Code Karts is the perfect introduction to pre-coding from the age of 4 through a series of logical puzzles. Kids can have fun learning the foundations of code whilst also having fun completing races too! There are over 70 levels and two different game modes, spanning a variety of puzzling obstacles. And the app now also features a new binary game mode where children can increase their knowledge of the decimal system.

Osmo Coding – £69.30 For Starter Kit

Like LEGO Boost, if you fancy a bit more of a physically interactive experience for coding, then Osmo Coding is perfect for you! Osmo is different as the coding blocks are put together in the real world, to chart adventures which are then displayed on the screen. The impressive Osmo Base detects these blocks and will update the app in real-time. Each block contains a disc that can be rotated to change direction, with a play button block to see it all happen!

Daisy the Dinosaur – FREE

Built by the team who developed Hopscotch (see above), Daisy the Dinosaur presents a free, fun drag and drop game designed for young kids to animate Daisy and make her dance! By using the extremely simplistic blocks, young children will very quickly grasp these beginner programming concepts and set them well on their way to more advanced techniques as they get older.

Available from the Apple App Store on iPhone, iPad and M1 Macs

View all posts by: Josh Cookson
Categories: Classroom Environment, Maths, Teaching Ideas
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