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Tickle

Robots, Arduinos, and drones -- the block coding app to rule them all

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 4 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

2–12

Subjects & Skills

Critical Thinking, Math, Science

Great for

Coding

Price: Free, Paid
Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Pros: Hands-on programming experience for robotics, drones, AR.

Cons: Teachers will need to allow time for recharging and reconnecting devices.

Bottom Line: Impressive tool for introducing block coding and robotics on a ton of devices.

Tickle's in-app store is stocked with lessons and unit plans, and the website and social media platform highlight ways teachers have used Tickle in their classes, from solving equations using number lines to geometry lessons. Since Tickle can work with a variety of devices, it's quite adaptable. And if robotic devices aren't available for all students, students can program 3D or augmented-reality (AR) games.

Editor's Note: Tickle is no longer available.

Rather than controlling only one robot or device, Tickle lets students control a variety of robots, drones, Arduino boards, and other smart devices. Navigation includes Projects, where students can see demo programs, alter them, or create new ones; Courses, which takes students out of the app and online to view even more demos and lessons; and Devices, which highlights the Star Wars BB-8 robot, several droids, Arduino Bean, Dash & Dot robots, Sphero, and more.

To create the programs, students drag visual blocks of code into place, linking them to create the program. If they don't have a device, they can still program in-app games using 3D or augmented reality (AR). 

Dragging blocks of code into place and customizing bit and pieces -- such as colors, directionality, and sounds -- is the standard for teaching basic coding, and that's just the way Tickle does it. The interface isn't all that unique, but the implementation sets it apart, allowing students to see that code runs all kinds of devices and tools.

The process is scaffolded so that every student can be successful. A program is already loaded when students open the app, and a hand guides them through the features. They're then left with the program in place to play around and make any changes. Once they're ready for more of a challenge, students can start their own programs from scratch. Self-assessment is built in as the programs run: Students will inevitably hit a snag where the program stops or doesn't perform as expected, and then they'll have to re-evaluate, redo, and try again.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

The format is similar to other programming apps that use code blocks, but the range of devices that students can control with Tickle -- and the ability to use it for AR or 3D gaming -- set it apart.

Pedagogy

Students can change preloaded programs to scaffold their learning experience or start from scratch once they know what they're doing.

Support

Lessons and units of lessons are available in the in-app store. The educator community gives teachers the opportunity to share ideas and try out new features.

Common Sense reviewer
Amanda B.
Amanda B. Teacher

Community Rating

Simple Coding tie in with Curriculum

It seems like a great program, but I feel like older kids will get the most out of it, though younger classes will enjoy it too. I feel as if the program is a good way to learn about coding. For teachers a way to tie in the curriculum to other forms of learning.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
  • Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Unclear whether profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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