Move the Turtle. Programming for kids
What parents need to know
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
Language & Reading
- following directions
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
- digital creation
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
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.
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.
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'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?
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.