Codea

Common Sense Media says

Innovative tool for programming on the iPad.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
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8
9
10
11
12
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Programming, and especially learning to program, is challenging, so this is not an easy, pick-it-up-and-go app. It will require focus and attention to detail to master, but the Lua language and the app are both well-designed.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Codea collects no personal data from or about users. Users can participate in Codea forums to share ideas and ask questions, and registration for that is separate from the app.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Codea is not a game, rather it is a software development tool that includes resources to teach kids to program in the Lua programming language. The free game Cargo-Bot was developed using Codea. Tweens and teens familiar with programming can pick it up and pretty quickly start writing their own programs, like games or other graphics, for the iPad. Those new to programming can alter sample programs to become more familiar with programming.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • functions

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Creating a program is not easy. Kids who aren't motivated by either the process or the end product may get frustrated with the tedious task of coding.

Learning Approach

Codea gives kids the chance to learn hands-on. The sample programs, help tools, and boilerplate starter text for programs give kids a rich learning environment and teach skills that transfer into real-world application.

Support

User-submitted example programs scaffold learning for kids by giving them examples to customize. A community forum gives them the opportunity to share their work and discuss and collaborate on ideas.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • functions

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn to develop computer programs that run on the iPad using the Lua software language. Even kids who aren't considering a career in programming will benefit from understanding how software code is written and how to tweak it to customize existing code. Kids will have to think critically as they write the code. They are empowered to create whatever their mind can conceive -- games, graphics, sound effects. Codea is a professional tool that has enough help features that kids can learn programming hands-on.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

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What's it about?

Starting with a boilerplate that includes the two required functions -- set-up and draw -- that serve as the hooks into the Lua program, kids then fill in the specifics of the program. CODEA is visual, so as kids type in the command, for example COLOR, a pop-up appears for them to choose their color from the color wheel. Kids will then see the code for the color they chose.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Point kids to the GETTING STARTED section's Codea Wiki to try out the FOR KIDS tutorial. It offers a step-by-step guide for beginners. Codea as a development tool itself is fabulous, but the ease of use on the iPad along with the visual pop-ups within the code and the immediate response of code errors make it a winner for beginners. The tools and resources are easily accessible on the iPad, so the app is touch-screen generation friendly.

User-friendly, though, does not mean easy. Programming is challenging, and kids should not expect to pick this up for a few minutes and whip up their own featured app. Learning to program takes time, patience, and focus. The tool is straightforward, though, with no game-like bells and whistles, so kids will need to find some internal motivation to work through it. But for those who are motivated, Codea puts the resources kids need to learn and practice programing on the iPad.

 

Families can talk about...

  • Point kids to the GETTING STARTED section's Codea Wiki to try out the FOR KIDS tutorial. It offers a step-by-step guide for beginners.

  • Parents can work together with younger kids to alter an existing program to the kids' specifications.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:$9.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:April 19, 2013
Category:Productivity
Size:35.60 MB
Publisher:Two Lives Left
Version:1.5.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Codea was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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