Use Hopscotch to teach basics of programming. Let kids use it for cross-curricular projects. Kids can brainstorm, plan, and create a story-based game or program using Hopscotch and present it to classmates.Continue reading Show less
Students create games and animations with Hopscotch by dragging and dropping commands and instructions into a script. Kids choose characters -- colorful monsters or animals -- and customize commands to make the characters move where they want or do what they want. They drag each command into place in the script and customize as they choose. Kids are empowered to determine specifics -- like how far their character moves, the color and size of trail it leaves, creating a line or shape, changing its size and costume, etc. They can easily experiment with what different commands do and revise their script as needed. Kids then hit Play to run their script, and they can share it with others via email.
The idea behind Hopscotch comes from MIT's Scratch programming interface. Hopscotch is the adaption of this introductory visual programming tool for mobile devices.
Kids can learn the fundamentals of computer programming on a mobile device with Hopscotch HD. Using visual blocks that represent programming concepts, students create their program -- whatever they want: games, animations, fun messages, etc. Kids are exposed to the ideas they'll use programming with more sophisticated languages without worrying about the minute details just yet. Students work with loops, variables, and conditional statements without having to learn the lingo. They'll think like programmers -- from coming up with their own idea to implementing it and troubleshooting it.
While Hopscotch is a good starting point, kids may get frustrated with the limits of the app and their abilities, thinking they'll create their own version of Minecraft, so you may want to set realistic expectations and show some examples of what kids can do with Hopscotch. The app only offers one tutorial example of a monkey drawing a line. More examples or even some step-by-step guided programs that kids could copy would enrich the value of the app. Hopscotch does a good job of scaffolding programming for kids, but students will eventually need exposure to and instruction in programming languages to move into productive coding.