Hackety Hack

Common Sense Media says

Easy programming tool teaches basics, has online sharing.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
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7
8
9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hackety Hack encourages kids to try out different programming methods and gives them supportive kudos at the end of each lesson.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

There are very few off-color phrases on the site, but the program page contains a user post for a project called "mothaf---a."

Consumerism

The site and application are free and don't contain ads.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Registered users can post questions for other users to respond to on the website, so kids could potentially connect with strangers. But most of the questions are about using the application.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this downloadable application and corresponding website are a generally safe way for kids to learn a few programming basics. They'll be able to read about programming language, test simple examples using the application, and can then extend their knowledge by trying to create their own simple programs to perform actions like drawing a shape or asking a question. Users don't need to register to use the application, but if they want to post questions or share programs they've created, they'll need to enter a username, password, and email address. No age limit or verification is required.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading comprehension

Math

  • functions
  • sequences

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • strategy

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids can test examples, which should make them feel involved. But they don't receive individual feedback or instruction, which would help them understand programming on a deeper level (and prevent them from getting confused).

Learning Approach

Kids learn how to write and save simple code examples. Content progresses from basic to slightly more complex, but doesn't constantly offer new challenges; for further learning, kids have access other sites or can ask users questions.

Support

Kids can check out the FAQ or submit questions on the site for other community members (and possibly a site administrator) to answer. Links to other sites provide some extra information on Ruby and other programming topics.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading comprehension

Math

  • functions
  • sequences

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • strategy

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn about programming basics, including alert and string word commands that tell a computer to take an action, setting up basic math equations, number and word commands, and creating Q&A responses. They may be able to equate the algorithm and sequential order instruction to math principles and real-life examples, like the steps used to build an object. The content is generally helpful, but kids don't get individual instruction. A clearer connection to math concepts and the addition of other interactive items would make Hackety Hack a stronger learning tool.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

The HACKETY HACK application provides detailed information on understanding and writing simple programming code using the Ruby programming language, created in 1995 by a programmer in Japan. Kids can read what steps to take and then test them out by copying and pasting examples from the text. They can read the same lesson information on the website and application and can also post programming instructions they've created or questions and responses for other users on the site.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Hackety Hack provides clear, fairly easy-to-understand programming instruction. Users learn general programming tips and find out how to write a few types of coding instructions using Ruby, a simplified programming language created more than 15 years ago. Kids probably won't be able to create their own website after using the site or application, but the information they learn can be used to help them understand a little bit about programming -- and enhance their reading, logic, and other critical thinking abilities.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what other actions, like homework or household projects, can be divided into a series of tasks, like programming. How could that make them easier to complete?

  • Programming involves communicating commands in a specific order. What other examples can your kids think of that echo that process in real life? Can you see any connection between conveying information clearly in programming and communicating with other people verbally or through writing?

  • Ask your kids what learning techniques made the most sense on the site. Is it easier to understand new concepts when visual examples are included? Does reading about new information help?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Hackety Hack 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.

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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.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old March 24, 2015
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

NOT inappropriate just a FEW things bad

so personally i think this is ok for kids.... but mostly the kid should be 10 or older, there is a one project that I've come across with a bad word and its REALLY bad! i wouldn't say it's the best coding site but it's ok in my opinion. if you're a kid younger than 10 i recommend u check out code.org instead, it's very basic and is in javascript.... overall i think this application is ok. Teens would probably not make a big deal about the bad words so teens will enjoy it! kids.... I'm not so sure about that, it just depends on the maturity. Most 10 year old kids should be able to play this..... i would rat ethe bad words.... 2 out of 5, so not that much. I hope i helped!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing

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