Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2016
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Fun procedural reasoning for kids; great curriculum for teachers

Subjects & skills
  • Math
  • Science

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (93 Reviews)
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Pros: Visual instructions and step-by-step levels make it possible for kids to learn programming concepts even before they learn to read.

Cons: A teacher's biggest challenge may be finding the time for students to discover all there is to learn and do.

Bottom Line: Kodable is a fun way for elementary school students to understand coding and contains impressive supports for teachers.

Kodable is a great exercise for teaching kids to think logically and learn to sequence or work through problems step by step. This sort of procedural literacy builds an appetite and background for later computer-programming learning. 

Teachers can load up to three classes of 50 students each, even importing class lists directly from Google Classroom. The included management tools make it easy to track student progress, unlock difficult levels, and even log in as a student to help that student with a particularly tricky puzzle. This feature also allows a limited number of classroom iPads to easily be shared by a larger number of kids. Students can access their accounts from devices or the web using their student codes.

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Kodable - Coding for Kids introduces kids to some of the logical steps and concepts needed in computer programming, with a game-like environment that is designed to grow with them from grades K through 5. The games are set in outer space, and students advance through the game learning programming concepts as they play. Skills start with sequencing and advance to loops, conditions, functions, and variables and into object-oriented programming concepts like properties and classes.

The teacher curriculum includes videos to introduce the concepts and step-by-step lesson plans, including vocabulary and offscreen activities, to teach the concepts before students explore them through the on-screen games. Students can work at their own pace, replaying levels as necessary. In addition to the app, Kodable has identical versions on the web, as well as downloadable, offline offerings.

Content-wise, Kodable is similar to other introductory programming logic apps like Move the Turtle and My Robot Friend, teaching sequencing and concepts like conditional clauses and functions. The included curriculum and teacher dashboard, though, make Kodable stellar.

Teachers often worry about how they can teach a concept like computer programming if they don't fully understand it themselves. The included curriculum makes that easy. You'll learn the lingo along with the kids if you don't already know it. Remember, kids aren't learning to write code just yet, but they get a glimpse of what it looks like as they play and are developing the logic and problem-solving skills necessary to succeed as programmers -- skills that will serve them well everywhere.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Fun, colorful characters draw kids in. Short problems slowly build in difficulty and complexity, keeping students challenged but usually not overwhelmed.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

The step-by-step sequencing kids must master for programming logic works in teaching it, too. Kids master sequencing, and then the next concept is introduced; each builds on the prior to deepen understanding.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Impressive resources prepare teachers to introduce kids to concepts that are new and unfamiliar to the teachers themselves. Activities can be done both on-screen and off.

Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 93 reviews) (93 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Kaity M. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Bradford Heights Elementary School
Downingtown, United States
Engaging, rigorous and exciting for kids!
I love this app! It's fun for the students and me too! They are thinking and problem solving and LOVING it. Kodable teaches grit. Students are determined to get through the levels. I love seeing the collaboration between them too. Kids helping each other without giving the answer. The visuals are bright and the music is pleasant. I would highly recommend this app for your students
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users and/or students.
Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Unclear whether profile information is shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Opt-in consent is not requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
Users can control their information through privacy settings.
Users can create or upload content.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is displayed.
Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.