Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Robot School. Programming For Kids

Robot School. Programming For Kids

Fall 2015 Mobile Apps
Ages: 7 & Up
Developer: Next is Great
Download Price: $3.99
Platform: iPad

Robot School: Programming for Kids teaches programming through the manipulation of a robotic figure in a Bloxy (Lego-like) environment. Programming is done through block modules, but users can view the generated code in the Swift programming language (similar to Java or Python) to start learning actual coding skills. Parents can set up multiple accounts so each child can progress at his or her own pace.

The programming begins at an entry level but rapidly progresses to genuine challenges. The robot has limited power to get through the level, which generally requires the programmer to find the most efficient solution possible. (The power is reset each time the solution fails, however, so there is no penalty for writing failed code.) The programming skills taught through the 45 levels include all the basics: counted loops, conditionals and conditional loops, parameters, variables, and equations.

Robbie the Robot (we'll just pretend the spelling makes it gender neutral) is fun to steer and cheers every time he reaches the destination. The game is challenging and interesting enough to keep even older and more experienced programmers moving forward, and there are enough levels to make it more than worth the cost of the full version.

Emily Crawford   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Next is Great
Available on iTunes

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