Kodable Pro

Common Sense Media says

Fun programming logic for kids, great resources for parents.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Drag and drop directions into place. Each new concept has a video tutorial introducing it. Kids with developing fine motor skills may fumble a bit with dragging right into the box, but failed attempts can be redone.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

With the Pro version, you get all lessons and levels (no in-app purchases). In the free version, the first level/lesson is free, and others are available for in-app purchase. To get to in-app purchases, you answer an easy algebra equation to unlock the parent section.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

You don't need to enter any personal information to use the app, but you have the option of submitting your email address to receive additional information from the developer. Kodable's privacy policy explains that the developer may collect information such as email address and device information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Kodable introduces kids to the kind of logic and the concepts needed in computer programming. The free version includes the first lesson, Smeeborg, which introduces kids to the step-by-step instructions involved in programming, if/then statements, and loops. It also includes a rich parent section with a written teaching curriculum, the ability to unlock levels for kids, ideas for off-screen games to play to develop logic skills, and clear instructions for enabling "guided access" on the iPad, which is a way for parents to ensure kids stay focused on a single task rather than skipping from app to app -- and it can be used with any app! The other levels -- Function Junction, which introduces functions; Bugs Below, for debugging; and Fuzzy Fun, for nonprogramming-related play with colors and letters -- as well as the written curriculum for each, can be bought all together with the Pro version or individually as in-app purchases. Up to five users can have accounts on one device.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • patterns
  • sequences

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • thinking critically
  • applying information
  • logic
  • problem solving

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Fun, colorful characters draw kids in. Short challenges engage them and slowly build on difficulty and complexity, keeping them challenged but not overwhelmed.

Learning Approach

The step-by-step sequencing kids must master for programming logic works in teaching it, too. Kids master sequencing, and then the next concept is introduced. Each builds on the prior, deepening their understanding of the concept.

Support

Short videos show kids how to use each new concept as it's introduced. Kids can replay levels to improve scores (by using a more elegant, efficient solution). Excellent extensions are available in the parent/teacher portal.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • patterns
  • sequences

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • thinking critically
  • applying information
  • logic
  • problem solving

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn programming concepts and develop the logical thinking required for programming. They'll learn to use sequential steps, if/then conditional concepts, and loops to repeat steps. In the paid levels, they'll learn to maximize efficiency by using functions and to debug code. At more advanced levels, kids will synthesize the new concepts, using them all, just as programmers do. With Kodable's learning guide, parents can help kids understand the concepts and learn alongside their kids. Kodable's visual instructions and step-by-step levels make it possible for kids to learn programming concepts even before they learn to read.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

The backstory, told through an intro video, is this: The Fuzz family crash-lands on planet Smeeborg and needs to explore the many mazes. To help them get through each maze and collect coins, kids use programming logic to drag and drop commands. They start off with blueFuzz but can unlock others, which is part of the fun. Kids play through one level at a time, unlocking the next as they go. (Parents with the Pro version can unlock manually.) Level 1 is Smeeborg, which introduces kids to solving problems with sequential steps, using if/then conditional statements and loop commands. Level 2 moves into functions, and Level 3 introduces debugging -- kids have to smash bugs using the commands they've learned.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Gamified learning is a great approach for teaching the logic of programming. The story and characters are fun and colorful and will appeal to both boys and girls. What really sets KODABLE PRO apart from other early programming apps for little ones is the materials for parents. Programmer parents may not need the resources, but, for parents who need some help understanding loops and conditional clauses, the curriculum is a boon. The ideas on how to build programmer-thinking off-screen are nice, too. The free version, with the first lesson included, is a great start to introduce kids (and nonprogrammer parents) to the logic of programming. The pro version builds on that foundation, giving kids further exposure to the language and logic of programming.

Families can talk about...

  • Use the fuzzFamily Frenzy game for an off-screen family activity to build STEM skills.

  • Avoid negative statements like, "I never liked math and science in school," or referring to programming as nerdy.

  • Take advantage of the rich resources included for parents to understand what kids are doing and learning and enhance it.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free-$6.99
Pricing structure:Paid, Free
Release date:April 28, 2014
Category:Education
Size:144.00 MB
Publisher:SurfScore
Version:4.0.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.1 or later

This review of Kodable Pro 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.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools