Teacher Review for Kodable

Inflexible and simplistic but attention-grabbing

Andrea L.
Classroom teacher
Double Eagle Elementary School
Albuquerque, United States
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My Subjects Math, Science, Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
I Would Recommend It No
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Individual
Student-driven work
Great with Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
I am a STEM teacher that does a biweekly pullout for K-5 classes and was looking for something for a coding unit. Perhaps it's my background as a computer programmer, but I found Kodable to be way too simplistic, repetitive, and inflexible for student creation. Even in the "create" modes, you can only really change the parameters of the activities they already have; you can't create anything new. Imaginative and advanced students will quickly feel boxed-in as most content has to be unlocked with repetitive tutorials.
My Take
Most of the content is like a tutorial, where your hand is held the whole way and you can only do the few things they thought you might want to do. While this ease of use means that probably students won't need much assistance from a teacher, they also aren't doing much more than just following directions. This would be like playing with LEGOs only while following the instructions and never building anything else. Coding, on the other hand, involves creating your own directions and combining a flexible set of instructions in new ways to do interesting things. While it will probably keep students entertained, and does do a good job of showing the connection between code text and pretty pictures, the students won't actually be coding; merely following directions.