Move the Turtle. Programming for kids

Common Sense Media says

Great concept; younger kids will need some guidance.

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

No audio tutorial or prompts. The main help section is minimal, at best, although kids can tap to view the solution within the task. Difficulty in chapters progresses quickly by tapping "Skip" after any failed command, whether or not a kid has actually mastered the command being learned. For kids younger than tweens, this app is likely going to be difficult to play without a parent's or teacher's help.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
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Language
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Consumerism
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Move the Turtle. Programming for kids sets out to teach kids the basics of computer programming (coding) concepts built within a colorful game starring a cute turtle. Tweens and teens can get a lot out of it, but the game can be quite confusing for younger kids if they cannot read or don't understand the very basic instructions. Most younger kids will need a parent's help to get the most out of the app.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Math

  • sequences
  • shapes
  • geometry

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • thinking critically

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This lighthearted introduction to coding is set within a colorful game starring a cute turtle. Kids who aren't into coding may find it confusing and lacking sufficient instructions. 

Learning Approach

Kids can learn the basic concepts of computer programming (coding) through the adaptive gameplay, practice following written directions, and apply technology to create digital content.

Support

Brief, written instructions may not be adequate for all kids; a voice tutorial and more specific instructions could greatly enhance learning. Kids can also create their own programs from scratch and view examples of pre-written programs.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Math

  • sequences
  • shapes
  • geometry

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • thinking critically

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn the basic concepts of computer programming (coding), such as how to draw a line or box, as well as how to incorporate graphics and noises into the program. Kids practice following written directions and applying technology to create digital content. Step-by-step programming requires lots of critical thinking, too. A voice tutorial and more specific instructions could greatly enhance learning for younger kids. If kids can read and quickly pick up the basics, Move the Turtle can be a useful tool to learn many basic (and some advanced) programming skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Kids choose an account and start with Chapter 1. They read the instructions and try to complete the task requested for moving the turtle on the screen. Then they tap "Play" to implement the command, and the game will immediately indicate whether a move was successful. Kids get brief, written instructions for moving the turtle around the screen; use graphics; choose color; include a sound; and more. Kids can also create their own programs from scratch and view examples of pre-written programs.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

MOVE THE TURTLE is one of the few apps that does a good job helping kids learn some coding basics. Younger kids will definitely require help from an engaged parent or another adult. Tweens and teens, however, will be able to explore the app more independently, and once they're into it, it can be a lot of fun. If Move the Turtle included more directions, more explanations, and some audio prompts, it could be an effective and fun learning tool for more kids within that broad age range.

Families can talk about...

  • If your kid cannot read yet but is really interested in programming, read the steps to him or her.

  • If your older kid can read but remains frustrated with the concepts, suggest continuing to work through the first level until it "clicks," providing guidance as needed.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:March 5, 2013
Category:Education
Size:27.00 MB
Publisher:Next is Great
Version:1.2.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.2 or later

This review of Move the Turtle. Programming for kids was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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.

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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; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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