Teacher Review for Flowlab

Had my classes hooked! Slightly arcane programming style only adds to the fun...

Jonathan K.
Technology coordinator
Jerudong International School, Brunei
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, English-Language Learning, Health & Wellness
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
First lesson with most new software/websites always involves an element of student discovery. So pretty hands-off from me to begin with. Then we can review what we have found out and it also gives the children a chance to have ownership of the project. Second lesson involves introducing key features they need to know to begin to design a multi-level platform game - designing the game level itself, adding movable sprites, linking levels together, introducing 'behaviour bundles' - the way the code is linked together in this programming interface. The programming interface has occasionally been 'buggy' but nothing that has threatened a whole project! The games can easily be shared using an embed code which is great for showcasing on the school website, or similar. More able children will soon be helping those less adept and coming up with some pretty cool retro games with a bit of perseverance!
My Take
I have taken the plunge with this website and have bought into the Teacher Edition - this entitles you to unlimited student accounts for GBP100/year. A word of warning - setting up accounts is quite time-consuming as - at least when I tried - I had to refresh my (Chrome) browser after inputting each pupil name. Also the dashboard would benefit from a .csv upload function or similar. There is a dearth of material on the internet, save for a few YouTube videos to support student learning; especially if you're used to teaching Scratch! But in some ways this is part of the charm - you feel like you're working with something that's pretty tricky, but not too tricky, and that it's something just a little bit different. Not for the faint-of-heart, but great for stretching your students. They'll soon be teaching you....