Feature Friday: Learn To Code on an iPhone

Hopscotch is a visual programming environment, like Scratch or Blockly, that runs on an iPhone.

If your kids like to grab your phone and watch videos or play games on it, put Hopscotch on your phone and encourage them to make games instead of just playing them.

Here’s a piece from Wired that explains how it works (with some screen shots) and why it is so cool.

You might ask, why should my kids learn to code? And there are many great answers to that but I always like to answer that question by reminding people that instructing machines what to do is becoming an important life skill. And it will only get more important in the coming years. So getting your kids comfortable doing that at a young age is a great thing and Hopscotch is a great way to do that.

#hacking education

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Programming machines today. Programming blockchains tomorrow.Blockchains are a level of abstraction up from machines. I’m waiting for a Blockchain Visual Programming Language to develop smart contracts.

    1. JAJones

      Hi William – really enjoyed your a16z podcast on blockchain. Will definitely check out your book! Anyone currently focusing on the smart contracts space and why do you require a Blockchain Visual Programming Language as a prereq?

      1. William Mougayar

        Thanks. Smart Contracts are a basic staple for programming blockchains without getting lost in the weeds of working directly with the blockchain’s APIs. There are many SC Programming Languages, some use regular scripts like Python/Java, others are specialized SCL’s like Solidity for Ethereum.You don’t need a visual language except that it would make it appeal to a wider range of less technically inclined users. I was just drawing the analogy from Hopscotch.

  2. JimHirshfield

    Can I get it on my smart watch?

    1. Rodrigo Tello

      Not yet. iPhone and iPad only.: )

    2. pointsnfigures

      I need glasses to read my phone, can’t imagine it on a watch

      1. LE

        When I was in Whole Foods this AM I wondered why they don’t have magnifying stations so if you see a food label that you can’t read you can simply move it to a magnifying station [1]. Ditto for restaurant menus. Should have reading glasses available I end up having to blast the menu with the iphone light (good thing I’m not dating).[1] Mounted easy to find magnifying glass that allows you to easily read a label if you don’t have reading glasses.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Or, print the label in larger type. Or carry a magnifying glass — that is what the pockets/purses are for! In a Web browser, hitting Ctrl-+ 6 or 8 times usually permits reading text on, say, a 14″ screen that, apparently, the writer intended for ants to read on a screen with area about 2 acres.

  3. JLM

    .There is no downside to learning to code. None.Even if you have a sweet jump shot, learning to code will help you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Westport_Johnny

      Fully agree. Son is 11 y.o. and loves coding, robotics, etc. This is perfect. Fred shared two precious links today.

    2. mikenolan99

      My dad taught me the beauty of the set shot – think Jerry Sloan 1975. Even at 75 he could still rain them in from outside the line…https://www.youtube.com/wat

      1. pointsnfigures

        I shot hoops in Detroit the other day with my nephew. I hadn’t shot a basketball in at least four years, and before that, probably 10-15. Took a while but I got my motion back. I can’t jump over my credit card bill but at least I can swish em from 20 feet in.

    3. Rodrigo Tello

      Totally right. There is no downside to learning to code.

      1. LE

        There is no downside to learning to code.There is no downside to learning many things. It’s really a matter of what you spend your time on. I’ve heard people often say “a legal degree is always good to have” [1]. But it also takes over 3 years out of your life that you could be spending doing something else of more value.[1] I feel that in business and in life a law degree can often hamper you as much as help you (and that’s without the cost and opportunity cost of getting that degree).

        1. Rodrigo Tello

          True.So, my insight is: IF you do want to get involved into any discipline (engineering, math, cooking, music, law) there should be a resource for beginners, right? It should be more incremental, instead of trading 3 years to realize that “well, I really didn’t liked laws that much”. Right?

    4. fredwilson

      Chris Bosh can do both

  4. Mike Zamansky

    I have mixed feelings on all the block languages – I like them in the young grades but think they’re mis-applied later on.I also really wonder how the size of screen affects things for this type of language. On the one hand, it’s always with you, on the other hand, screen size has been an issue when trying to do something more interesting with a block language and on yet the third hand, kids these days are so much more comfortable working on those tiny screens.I’m also starting to think about these tools (along with things like those physics sim gimes) as just the next generation and evolutionary step of educational games / software starting going back to speak and spell through the Sesame Street games my kids played on their first computers to today.Thinking of writing more about that if I get the tiime.

    1. Rodrigo Tello

      One thing that we’ve believe in Hopscotch is that we’re not trying to build a “learning to code” software, but a “code your own thing” software. Even though it appeals to teachers in classrooms or parents that want to have educational apps in their mobile devices, kids and adults can create their own games, animations and interactive toys.Size of the screen is definitly a challenge. You should take a look at Hopscotch and tell us what you think 🙂

      1. Mike Zamansky

        Can’t take a look – don’t have any Apple devices :-(.I like that distinction of “code your own thing” vs “learning to code” – recent discussion among HS CS teachers + this post has gotten me thinking a lot about that.

      2. SubstrateUndertow

        we’re not trying to build a “learning to code” software, but a “code your own thing” softwareHow many years before that is a distinction without a difference ?20 year? 10 years? Less?

    2. Twain Twain

      This post is interesting given another post: Return of Command Line Interface.* http://avc.com/2015/09/the-…The battle between “Are we coding and building in languages and UX that are natural and human or ones that enable the machines to operate (forcing us to behave more like them than vice versa)?” continues.

      1. Vasudev Ram

        Using a keyboard to type/write and looking at a monitor to read, is not fundamentally very different from writing on paper and reading books, which humans have been doing for ages.Related, I’ve noticed a lot of anthropomorphism in computer technology (both hardware and software), and have been pointing that out as an interesting artifact to my programming students, lately.e.g. Terms like reading and writing files, directories, memory, ROM, RAM, seek time (hard disks), seeking (in files), search, sort, edit, select, delete, and more – all come from real life.

    3. LE

      I wonder about the screen size as well. Wouldn’t work for me. I don’t even like using laptops to write. I want as much screen space as possible and multiple monitors so I can spread things out. Way back I remember using Wyse terminals and “ed”. I was lucky that I could use multiple terminals if I wanted more screen space.

      1. Vasudev Ram

        I like more screen space too, and prefer desktops to laptops for work. But I don’t use multiple monitors (yet). How do you use them? Different apps in different monitors? Know about the synergy app? Pretty cool.

        1. LE

          Generally logs of machines and processes on the left and right monitor, browser and active work in the center monitor. 3 Apple 27″. Also text files being worked on in the left or right monitor (for reference like if you had books out on your desk.)Out of the corner of my eye I can sense certain things going on in the logs (if something has stalled) similar to a pilot with instruments as I would imagine you don’t always have to be looking specifically to have an intuition that something isn’t right when you sense motion (log scrolling) has stopped or is going to fast.Please remember the following.You can never be:…”to rich”…”to thin”…”have to many monitors”(that’s my saying, I made that up years ago..)

          1. Vasudev Ram

            Good info. Interesting about the sensing. Used to do stuff (broadly) like that when I was a system engineer, troubleshooting Unix systems. Intuition / a feel for the tech can help as much as much as left brain logic.

  5. sigmaalgebra

    I’d guess that kids are already eager to learn to code. Aren’t they?Some common kid motivations that stand to get them to want to learn to code:(1) Things. In the crib, girls are interested in people and boys, things. So, at least the boys should show interest in computers, radio controlled toys, drones, cars, the Internet, Google, hammers, saws, files, epoxy glue, etc.(2) Growing up. Supposedly kids are fully aware, even if they don’t articulate it, that they do not have the powers of adults and, thus, are eager to have such adult powers. E.g., whatever adults are doing that kids can’t kids stand to be interested in learning to do.(3) Imitation. Can tell a kid 1000 times it’s good for them to eat spinach, but maybe a more effective approach is for the kid to see adults enjoying eating spinach. So, kids could be more interested in coding if they saw adults enjoying coding.(4) Fitting in. For a kid, if lots of their friends are taking coding seriously, then that can be a motivation for the kid to do the same. Then they can get attention, acceptance, admiration (gee, awful alliteration) from the other kids saying “Watch this cool thing my iPhone can do ….”

    1. LE

      Kids have a great deal of distractions today to amuse themselves with. As such, and when compared to playing games (or watching video), it’s not as appealing as it might have been way back.I bought a small drone for my stepdaughter. She “played” with it for a day. Then called me at work the 2nd day to ask if she could play with it before I got home. Then by the third day she was back to playing mindcraft (and making movies of playing mindcraft). I would have died for a toy like that when I was growing up and also I would have spent weeks if not months building it and repairing it when it crashed.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        For a drone, I would guess that a boy would be more interested than a girl.The feminists here will want to use dull, rusty knives to perform surgery on me to change my name from, say, Siegmund to Sieglinde, but my guess would be that there is nearly no force in the galaxy to avoid that your stepdaughter will be interested in dolls, being pretty, socializing with girls her age, with girls her age talking about boys, including pop culture heart throbs, maybe horses, then boys …. The feminists with dull, rusty knives will be coming after me now!If she is interested in computer games, terrific, but I have to suspect that she will drift into parts of what we here at AVC call social media.Sure, it would be terrific if she could dream up bubble sort, program it, time it, run it on 300,000 random numbers, observe that it is a bit slow, try to cook up something faster, learn enough about the factorial n! to discover the Gleason bound for the fastest possible sorting by comparing pairs of keys, and then, on a great day in her life, learn about heap sort. Then on the Internet she can get some videos of how heap sort works — astounding. Then she can learn that heap sort achieves the Gleason bound which, for an in-place algorithm, is astounding. It would be good. Amazing. Somehow I doubt it.But you could try. Discovering heap sort and what else can be done with the heap data structure, astoundingly powerful for being so darned simple, could be a real Eureka moment in her life.Yup, in the code of my startup, at one point I have to go over maybe some millions of numbers and end up with the, say, 20 largest.Exercise: How to program that efficiently! If she can see and program that on her own, take her out of school, home school her, get some fantastic guidance from some very bright and well informed people, and get her on her way to publishing research and going ASAP for her Ph.D. at Harvard.Yes, one of the things I was interested in was mechanical things. So, Mom said that at about age 3, I was taking door knobs apart.But, also there was a girl. Shela, next door just my age, but soon her family moved away to Milwaukee. Mom later said that I responded “When I grow up I will go to Wilwaukee and marry Shela” — pretty good for three because I saw that Shela was a girl, I was a boy, I loved Shela, a girl was a small version of a woman, I, a boy, was a small version of a man, and when a man loved a women he tried to marry her! Pretty good for three!Likely the second most enthralling thing I saw growing up was what was inside the oil pan of a V8 engine. The image is burned into my brain.So, sure, I took a old lawnmower engine, some scrap pieces of wood and metal, and made a go cart. I used some simple arithmetic to guess at the gear ratio but got it about right. Dirt cheap; crude; but it worked as intended!Later my brother and I shared an old Chevy. The front suspension was worn out and sloppy. So, I took a pass by the public library, got smart on the details of the front suspension, took out everything from the front wheels to the steering wheel, cleaned up everything, made a list of the worn out parts, took the list to the parts department of a Chevy dealer, got the new parts (had to wait for some of the parts — it was an old Chevy), and put it all back together. The tricky part was compressing the coil springs successfully without a spring compressor and without injuring myself; used two bumper jacks and some slow, careful lowering! Got the front end aligned, and all okay. Later, wanted some good shocks for the front; at a parts counter bought a pair that by eyeball looked promising, went to a muffler shop, and gave them the challenge of welding on some brackets to permit attaching the shocks. The shocks worked great for years! Yup, the radiator got plugged up. So, removed it, had a radiator shop do the usual clean out and repainting, put it back. For the starting motor, generator, and water pump, when they went out, I went next door to a guy: He and his siblings were running what became a major auto parts rebuilding company, For their company, Dad had done the systems analysis for how to use punch cards in their delivery trucks for a cute system for inventory and billing. So, I could get rebuilt auto parts for free. Yup, installed them. Then, going around a right turn, the right, rear wheel and half axle came out! I got the car towed home. A split ring on the differential end of the half axle had given way. Got another half axle at a junk yard and put it in. Worked fine. When the clutch went out, did what I had to do with the torque tube drive, the transmission, and the pilot bearing, put in a new clutch, and all okay. A few times the battery was dead, and I needed to get to school. So, I rolled the car down the driveway and into the street and headed downhill. With the transmission in neutral, with the driver’s side door open, standing on the street, pushed the car downhill. When I got to maybe 5 MPH, I reached in, slapped the gear shift lever down (right, clutch still engaged) to put the car in high gear (why not low gear?!!), kept pushing, and at the first signs of life from the engine jumped in, stood and the clutch and gas, got the engine going, and drove to class. Gee, I actually did all that!I was interested in mechanical things and got some benefit! I’m not waiting for a significant fraction of girls to do such things. Gotta run — looks like a squad of angry feminists with dull, rusty knives headed my way!

        1. PhilipSugar

          You are a really bitter old man.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Some of the feminists caused by a wide margin the worst parts of my life — cost me a big chunk of my life so far. Professor Henry Higgins didn’t want “to let a woman in” his life. I don’t go that far, but I’d strongly advise any man never to let a feminist in his life.I tried, with a brilliant girl. I respected her, didn’t ask her to cook, or clean, etc., and sacrificed a LOT based on her wishes and our plans. Turns out, she was following some feminists and, no matter what the disasters, would never consider changing. The result: All her parents’ and my efforts to help her were total wastes; a big chunk of my life was wasted; her life was essentially a total waste, and she died early. Not good. Feminism. Her sisters? Similar but not quite as bad. The “bitter” one? Her mother.But now I understand feminists, am joking about them attacking me with knives, am much less bitter about how the feminists hurt my life, in my life now essentially just ignore the feminists, but still would advise any man never to let a feminist in his life.Even if a tiny fraction of women can be successful following some of feminism, they would be well advised to be very cautious about how much of that potion they swallow and otherwise just to drop the label,Much less bitter now? No sense in looking back at what I can’t change or learn more from. Likely nearly all of us hit chuckholes in the road.Now that I understand the feminists, they can’t hurt me directly; sure, they might hurt the country (I believe that they’ve done enormous damage, as if they were some brilliant sabotage of the US by the USSR), but I can’t do much about that, either. I have my startup, and for that the feminists are irrelevant.In simple terms, Darwin is fighting and winning the battle of the feminists: The feminists I know well are weak, sick, or dead limbs on the tree and, thus, are dying out quickly. If my data is representative, then, while now many women take feminism very seriously, with Darwin they are going the way of a fad — a few more decades and feminism will be nearly universally seen as a huge mistake. To believe this, I don’t have to be “bitter” but just think about what I’ve seen that says that, in the sense of Darwin, feminism doesn’t work. Sorry ’bout that — doesn’t work. And people who don’t know this can be badly hurt — but not me, not now, not again!

  6. jason wright

    schools need to get back to teaching grammar. a great prep for life and for coding.

    1. karen_e

      My school had a special 10th grade course on grammar. Just once a week, independent of English class. I dearly loved the rules, precision, analytics, creativity. Yes, great prep for life and coding.

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        Not disagreeing with you here but there is a flipside to that.The endless march of students into the future can continue to waste their cumulative effects/time learning the 8,000 syllablistic exceptions in english or we could consider fixing the language tool ?Improved tools pay a higher dividend than working harder learning flawed tools. That is probable extra true for natural-language as it play the pivotal role of shared social visualization/organization/cohesion/abstraction.Natural language is a living process that evolves with society/technology but given the extreme acceleration embodied in new organic network-effect technologies it maybe judicious to start considering a more formal effort to retrofit natural language to keep up with our modern technical substrate.Yes I get that that process is a hard nut to crack!

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Ah, just need a good spell checking program!

    2. JimHirshfield


    3. SubstrateUndertow

      It is of course important that students learn to use natural language/grammar well in order to communicate effectively.But it is also along overdue that we start working the other side of that language equation by working on natural language itself to reshape living language to more effectively meet the hybrid needs of our new adaptively-interdependent, algorithmic driven, network-effect social realities.Natural language being so organic has no formal retrofitting mechanisms so this type of visual programming may just help seed an organic pathway by which to spur on hybrid natural language evolution/retrofitting .We have not reached “the end of history” status on natural language evolution.History shows that, in the long run, building better tools always TRUMPS being good at using the tools presently at hand.Now that ubiquitous messaging/communicating/synchronizing have taken centre stage in very aspect of social/economic success it may be time to more formally search out ways to accelerate the slow and organically slippery process that up until now has driven natural language evolution?Everything was grounded in dumb causal necessity until “cognition” come along to run interference on that fixed trajectory :-)ORcausal necessity stumbled along until it surfaced the biology of “cognitive imagination” than that “imagination magic” took it from there (mind over matter)Just maybe the evolution of natural language deserves more of our “imagination magic” efforts?ORthe evolutionary rewrites that have proven so very effective at accelerating programming languages could be just as effective if more formally applied to natural language ? ? ?language(signalling) is the majic-mojo substrate that drives everything !

  7. mikenolan99

    It’s more important than ever to encourage this curiosity. My thought – as technology becomes common functional appliances, the fascination with the inner workings will become less common.My generation (51) had to deeply understand technology just to get it to work… I remember sweating over the specs of my computer – 80286 processor, 512megs(!) of RAM, etc.My son’s generation (25) had enough of this to peek his interest in the inner working, and he’s now a successful programmer.The next few generations will enjoy nearly invisible technology. The new Echo has no different versions – you plug it in, and it works. I don’t care how many watts my toaster has, it just makes toast. My grandkids wont care how much RAM their laptop has.And, of course, I no longer eat bread. {sigh}

    1. Girish Mehta

      I think you mean 512 KBs…just a factor of 1000 :-). 512 MB of RAM was mainstream in 2004-05.80286 CPU systems like the IBM XT of 1986 came with 512 KB (2 X 256 KB SIMMs) plus 128 KB soldered on-board. It had a 6 Mhz 80286 processor.

      1. mikenolan99

        You are right – wow – I remember when I bought my first 56k modem – the tech said “You’ll never use all that speed – it is impossible to transmit more than xx over phone lines…” A few years later, that same two twisted pairs would bring in 1.5M+…

        1. Girish Mehta

          Hedonic Adaptation.Where would the consumer tech industry be without it ?

        2. sigmaalgebra

          Ah, the salesman was hoping that the customers didn’t understand Shannon. Shannon said how many little balls (that can’t overlap) can fit in a large ball. Well, with more power on the phone line, can get more little balls. So, just need more power. The little balls? Different signals. They don’t overlap? The signals remain distinct at the receiver. A little ball? What the receiver gets after noise has been added to what was a point when transmitted.

          1. mikenolan99

            Your impossible is my business plan.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Are more highly abstracted component-remix platforms any less valid as “inner workings” just because technology keeps levelling up to force the historical important “inner workings” we grow up with to recede into the realm of hidden variables or are we just feeling nostalgia for the the “inner workings” we cut our teeth on 🙂

  8. panterosa,

    I taught game (analog) and app design to high school girls at the YWCA this spring. Fun!App design is 3 steps – you need an idea, need to design it, then code it. They all had excellent original ideas, and some coding at school, yet the design is harder for them than the coding.I agree simple languages, block languages, can help these girls sort out coding functions, and any steps towards this thinking and skill fluidity is a plus. Yet design is ‘what’ you are coding, and coding is ‘how’ it works – and if design is a roadblock, then you don’t even get to the coding part.The girls did the basic wire framing and screen design in Powerpoint, since they were all conversant in that, and it was in those slides that we started parsing through their designs. I had to rip through so much mismatched layout, font use, and color that we spent the most time on having to strip out clutter so the design clearly reflect the fun of their idea to make for easy UX and UI.Slide presentations are a vital currency for presenting ideas, for school kids and adults, and yet I see so many crappy slides, everywhere, that it makes me know we have serious design issues. Badly designed slides do good ideas a huge disservice, and yet from schools to conferences to VC offices, they abound. I’m not even touching on bad data viz, which can even distort how data is read.Good design is magical and works wonders. I’d be interested in hearing thoughts back on if design should be taught alongside coding in CS classes, and if not, where does it belong in school?

  9. David A. Frankel

    Huge fan of Hopscotch and would agree it is extremely cool. After reading about it in Techcrunch two years ago, I installed the app on my iPad for my then 10 year old son, who has always been creative and fascinated by computers and technology. Within minutes of opening Hopscotch, he was hooked and started creating. It’s almost exactly like what a balance bike (if you don’t know what this is, google it — can’t believe it didn’t exist until very recently) has done to teaching kids how to ride a bicycle.My son is now almost 13 and has since graduated to coding in Scratch (which is excellent as well), Python and Java, and has learned problem solving skills and logic that he probably would not have previously been exposed to until high school. He and his friends have also cycled through gamified coding platforms such as Roblox, Minecraft and currently Geometry Dash, where they use basic coding skills within the platform to develop new levels for the game.So great to see that we have solutions out there that are demystifying programming and unlocking the potential of our youngest generation. The results are going to be astounding.

    1. karen_e

      Great comment. Seems like great parenting on your part, too.

      1. David A. Frankel

        Thanks. Now if there was an app that got him to clean his room and do his chores around the house, we’d be all set!

        1. JLM

          .There is. It’s on the end of your right foot.JKJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. LE

          You simply have to be 100% consistent with the punishment if they don’t do what you tell them to do. This will work with 90% of kids who are “normal”. My stepkids (as I’ve told before) clean the kitchen floor and table every night. If they leave a sticky spot on the floor I make them come down and clean it again. I want a quality job not a half ass job. [1] One day they tried to point the finger on the other person not doing their role. I told them “ok so now you guys have to manage each other and check and make sure the other person is doing their job”. Ditto for taking out the trash, cat litter etc. The thing is they know I mean business (like the teacher that you know means what they say) and if they don’t comply their will be some consequence. My latest is telling my stepson that if he keeps locking his door all the time I will remove the lock totally. I am not worried now about what he does in his room I am worried about later when I will care what he might be doing in his room.[1] And they have actually learned something and appreciate that they make me happy with what they do. And they have plenty of time to do things like this given how often they are playing on the computer.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      How I learned to ride a bike: When I was still not yet 6, my brother, three years older, put me on his bike, was behind me, was holding me up, and off we went, with him continually assuring me that he was holding me up. Soon his voice seemed distant. Yup, he’d quit holding me up maybe 20 yards back, and I’d just learned to ride a bike.What’s this about other ways to learn?

      1. David A. Frankel

        That’s similar to how I, my older children, and most people learned as well. It seemed that was the only way.But someone recognized that the biggest impediment to kids learning to ride bikes sooner wasn’t necessarily balancing themselves, but coordinating both balance and pedaling at the same time. So they started marketing balance bikes a few years ago for toddlers and young children — it’s basically a traditional bicycle, but without pedals. Kids scoot and then coast by using their feet on the ground to get them moving. Coasting gives them the ability to understand the balance part of riding a bike without worrying about pedaling or fear of falling over.My youngest son was able to go from a balance bike directly to a traditional bike (without training wheels) in a much shorter period of time. I think I held the back of his seat the first time he started to pedal and that was it. No falling over, no scraped knees, etc. Here is a link that explains it more: http://www.twowheelingtots….My point: just as the balance bike demystifies the idea of both pedaling and balancing on a bike for kids, apps like Hopscotch demystifies programming. In both cases, kids are able to get involved and enjoy the activity much sooner than they would have previously. And that’s a great thing.

        1. PhilipSugar

          You can also just take the pedals off.

  10. karen_e

    I’ve been writing title tags, alt tags and meta descriptions for the last few days. It’s the marketer’s version of coding, and it feels good. Going swimming will feel even better — Happy Memorial Day to the US-based community members!

  11. Dan G

    this app not ready yet for primetime since it’s not yet on Android? or developers think 80% of smartphone users which are on Android don’t need this app? I’m currently in Puerto Vallarta, been here for last 6 days, and I’ve seen maybe 3 iPhones, among a sea of Androids.

    1. Rodrigo Tello

      We’re a small team and we’re working on making the best iOS experience that we can. We’ll love to have an Android version.: )

  12. skhavari

    For those with little ones that aren’t yet reading, you may want to check out http://www.code.org and their code studio https://studio.code.org/ – my 4 year old had tons of fun trying to solve the course 1 activities. The desire to continue on is fueling his eagerness to learn how to read. Great stuff!

  13. pointsnfigures

    Was talking to someone that wanted to start a code academy the other day. I really think the people that start these “academies” have their heart in the right place-but I think they need to know how to code before starting them

  14. LE

    If your kids like to grab your phone and watch videos or play games on itWhere? In Africa? What kid today doesn’t have their own phone!

    1. K_Berger

      My house.

  15. Sebastian Wain

    Sorry but nothing currently beats ScratchJr for very young kids who don’t read yet.

  16. Jeff Buchet

    Fred.. Now that we are talking about kids and the skills, what is your take on the Scripps Spelling Bee contest happened last night ?

    1. Mike Zamansky

      Just watched the ESPN clip -Kid on the left got his answer’s correct and would be champ.If the kid on the right got his right, they’d be co-champs otherwise, just the kid on the left.I LOVED the reaction of the kid on the left – he was SO pumped when the other kid also got the answers right!!!!!

      1. Jeff Buchet

        Yes,, it was great to see both the kids dominate the 25 rounds .. Even the toughest words could not beat them out

  17. PhilipSugar

    Here is why you need to know: If you think you can be involved in technology and not know “it” you are clueless. If you think technology doesn’t matter in your profession you need to look a little harder.

  18. John

    I was just recently thinking about my 12 year old programming and wondered why there wasn’t an easy way to program on a mobile device. I’ll check this app out.That said, I think this app will fall short since it seems to teach the principles and skills, but not true programming. I’m reminded of when I started to teach my son to blog. At first I had him on the computer and started walking him through all the steps required to take a picture he’d drawn and put it on the computer. There were so many little things that we take for granted (ie. format of scanned file, where does the scanned file go, resizing the scanned image, locating the scanned image from the WordPress interface, etc etc etc). I switched him to the iPad and all he did was click the image button, take a picture and click insert. It had totally simplified his experience and I realized he’d probably never learn the other things.I wonder if the same will be true with programming.

  19. pounce

    I get it but I’d like to take a moment and digress; let’s go back through “tech advances and more bytes please”, to when analog signals were great for phone conversations, texting and music! I know, regression rubs people the wrong way. There are courses for horses.

  20. Chloe Alpert

    Check out Swiftishttps://itunes.apple.com/us…