Teacher Review for Cargo-Bot

Challenging early coding/programming skills bulding app for students beyond the introductory level.

Matthew N.
Special education instructor
William Fleming High School
Roanoke, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
Cargobot is a great app for developing programming and coding skills in upper elementary (and older) students. This is not the app to use to introduce students who have no coding experience to the skill, nor is it recommended for younger primary-aged students due to the complexity of the challenges and how quickly the levels become significantly more difficult. Students need to have a foundational understanding of basic sequential coding routines AND have an interest in programming to effectively use this tool as a learning/practice experience, as it can otherwise become frustrating rather quickly. While this application is meant to be utilized on iPads and tablet devices, I have had success taking screenshots of the challenges, displaying them on an overhead or smartboard, and have larger groups of students (when there weren't enough devices for everyone) to work together to generate the solution code. These collaborative efforts were sometimes more effective at developing skills is all of my learners than having individuals students work alone with the app on a tablet.
My Take
Cargobot is a great app for practicing and teaching coding skills to students who have already advanced passed the foundational level and are no longer challenged (or interested) in resources such as Kodable, Lightbot, or My Robot Friend. I like that the app takes the programming challenge to a practical environment (controlling a robot arm to stack cargo boxes, an authentic task) while remaining in a game-like format. Be aware that the difficulty of the game progresses quickly through the levels however, so be observant of student frustration levels.