With the government pushing coding and programming in education, an app like Cargo-Bot for iPad is a great way in. Dressed up as a fun block-moving game, Cargo-Bot will subtly get students thinking about the basic processes and information loops required for coding. Here’s how…
What is Cargo-Bot?
Cargo-Bot (Two Lives Left, free) is a straightforward game where you score points for moving blocks with a crane-like grabber. Each level presents you with a stack of coloured blocks, then it’s your job to move them using the minimum number of code instructions possible (left, right, down, colour-specific rules etc). The cartoony Cut the Rope/Angry Birds-style graphics and ease of use make it really accessible, as well as being quite addictive!
How can it benefit the classroom?
Some of our customers are already using Cargo-Bot in the classroom, and have mentioned just how easy it is to get students thinking about basic coding with the app. It’s effectively a game, but also a great introduction into problem solving and workflow, seeing the end result and coming up with processes to achieve it and make the crane work.
Cargo-Bot will be most effective for secondary school students, I reckon, but there are also other options if you want to get basic coding into the classroom. Bee-Bot (TTS Group) is a free app based on one of those programmable floor robots that’s great for primary schools, while if you want to take coding in lessons a bit further, the Codea app is available for £6.99 from iTunes. Codea is a programming language developed by Two Lives Left which, interestingly, they used to create Cargo-Bot – the first ever iPad app to be completely created on an iPad!
What’s the best feature?
What I like most about Cargo-Bot is the gentle learning curve, getting progressively harder as you advance through the levels. There’s a certain amount of trial and error in getting the sequences right first time, but once you’ve completed the level, you can go back and try to better your score, so it’s a good way of assessing how much students are taking onboard. There’s also a very handy ‘Hints’ button which gives you a few gentle nudges in the right direction, and tutorials to get you started too.
Where can I get it?
You can get Cargo-Bot (Two Lives Left) by searching the App Store on your iPad or heading over to iTunes.
– Missed last week’s app? Read our review of iMindMap HD here.
To find out more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.