Turtles are not known to be speedy movers, but have you ever tried to get them to move in a specific direction? How about getting them to move in a perfect circle? With this app, young computer programmers have to be on their toes to learn the basics of programming and get this little turtle moving correctly.
Move the Turtle, uses the paradigm of moving an object across a screen to teach techniques of computer programming. Young programmers are guided through the steps of creating small programs or tasks. The app introduces different constructs one-by-one and then guides users through the process of adding them to a program. For instance, first, one learns to move the turtle forward, then you add a pen to draw as the turtle moves, next, you turn the turtle, and so on.
The following programming constructs are covered:
- Drawing with a pen
- Adding color
- Adding sound
- Creating a looping construct
- Creating a procedure
- Using variables
- Using conditional instructions
- Writing the value of a variable
As you progress through the different constructs, you reach different levels of accomplishment and earn badges along the way.
Projects can be saved to a personal library or shared. Sharing programs allows one to publicly share a link with others. The app also has a number of example programs that users can view, reuse, or change for their own use.
Provides a clever game-like way to introduce programming.
Allows for users to progress at their own rate. Beginning and advanced students can find challenges with this app.
Many will find this challenging and addictive at the same time.
Guidance provided to help you solve the problems.
There are no reporting features to monitor student progress in this app.
How techie do I need to be?
- A number of the drawing activities require that programmers utilize prior knowledge of some geometry concepts. Have learners draw circles or different types of triangles as a way to learn about programing and reinforce these geometry concepts at the same time.
- Have students share different ways of solving the same problem. Discuss different solutions to help support struggling learners.
- There are no reporting features to monitor student progress in this app
- Provides practice and challenge for a variety of ages. Younger students may need more guided instruction than is provided in the app.
- Learners can progress at their own pace and create their own projects
- Learning is scaffolded along the way. Instructions can be replayed. Even solutions can be seen, if needed.
- When learning new constructs, the instructions are intentionally terse to support younger learners. At times, a few more instructions would be helpful to clarify directions.