Coding at Home: Part One

Well, it’s been a long time, but we’re still here, and in fact, we come bearing news.

While we’ve been stuck, pottering around the house, we improved a couple of our learning resources so that you, too, can use these to exercise your coding muscles!

Learning Variables

The first is our app, Learning Variables. We’ve long been using this app in our classrooms to help teach the concept of variables, but now we’ve released it for iPads, iPhones, and the Mac (thanks to Catalyst!).

There are a few built-in stories to start you off. Pick a story, and you’ll see a list of variables to fill in with some hints about what kind of value we’re looking for:

Enter in a few words according to the hint, and you’ll wind up with something like this:

It’s a little goofy exercise that will show students how variables can be used. They can go back and change what they entered and watch the story change. Or they can write their own story. We’ll rip out a few key words and create variables for students to fill in and re-generate their story with their new variable values in place. It’s handiest to have the kids write their own stories and then hand the devices around the classroom (or home) and see what their classmates (or siblings, parents, pets*) do to their stories… but I’d love to hear how you use it in your classroom (or home)!

If you have any requests or bugs, feel free to drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll see what we can do.

* Please note, pets are terrible at coming up with values for these variables.

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