Elementary-age kids get a great introduction to the logic involved in programming in a fun, story-like game. Use My Robot Friend to expose kids to logical STEM-thinking. Have kids analyze the strategy they used and evaluate if another strategy would have been more efficient. Let kids fail. And then let them use what they learned from the failed attempt to create a better, more successful solution. Each device can host up to four profiles, and kids can customize their avatar, including taking their own picture to use. With 80 levels of challenges, every kid in the class can be appropriately challenged and advance through the levels at his or her own pace.Continue reading Show less
Kids direct their robot friend through mazes to a treasure chest by programming his moves step by step. They get ribbons as rewards after they complete each round, and can unlock fun mini-games -- like dance parties where they can program the music and moves for their robot and advanced programming challenges where they save monkeys. Kids work with directionality, adding steps, and negative numbers as they plan the best way to get the robot to the treasure and avoid the obstacles. The frequent rewards that let kids earn currency to buy costumes for their robot and the seriously fun mini-games help keep kids motivated to keep playing. Though the puzzles start off easy enough, the challenge grows steadily.
Teachers and parents may find the fat cat villain annoying, but kids might get a kick out of him. He is sarcastic and loud, though hard to understand, and he burps as he gorges on cheese. The burping option is off as a default but can be turned on as an option in the settings. The mild violence includes shooting stuffed animals and freezing other robots temporarily but isn't graphic or shocking.
In My Robot Friend, kids learn by doing. Dragging the moves or direction or weapon into place for their robot creates a script for their robot to follow, just as they'd write when coding programs. Kids get immediate feedback by seeing the robot complete their instructions, and can undo any missteps and try again until they get it right. The app keeps the rewards and feedback constant. Kids get ribbons after they complete levels and can spend the coins they earn to buy more costumes and accessories for their robot. The mini-games, which are unlocked as rewards, are really cool. Kids can make their robot dance at a dance party, lead a spelling bee, or save monkeys -- all while further practicing their programming skills.
Key Standards Supported
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.
Ratios And Proportional Relationships
Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.