Teacher Review For Lightbot - Programming Puzzles

Lightbot teaches the foundation of coding and basic map reading skills

Lisa B.
Classroom teacher
Hershey Middle School
Hershey, PA
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 3
Support 3
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Individual
Knowledge gain
Practice
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
Low literacy
How I Use It
There are two ways I use this in the classroom, one is more academic than the other. I discovered the app/webite and tutorials through code.org for the Hour of Code last year. The app and website do not have a big role in my classroom, they are just featured in a single day lesson. Part of my map reading unit requires students to follow complex directions. They struggle with visualizing turning right and left as if they were the person moving. The app teaches this skill in a game fashion which helps immensely. Some students enjoyed learning the process to code and continued on. Students love the challenge of the levels and will silently use the app during study hall.
My Take
By having students sit in small groups while going through the levels of Lightbot, they were helping each other out when they got stuck. There are only basic tutorials on the app for new skills introduced, the students have to figure out many parts on their own. There were a few levels that were extra frustrating, especially to the teacher, who also couldn’t get past it nor could I help the students. The cost is an issue. I can’t justify spending $2.99 for a single lesson resource. However, there is a free version and one for the Hour of Code that was detailed enough to teach the students what I needed them to learn. It is nice that the website and app works across so many devices since my classroom is BYOT; resources need to be available on iOS, Android, phones, tablets, netbooks, etc. I look forward to using this again this year for the Hour of Code.