This drag-and-drop app teaches coding like a puzzle

By Laura Devaney
July 30th, 2015

New version of ‘Blockly’ app helps teachers introduce coding, programming concepts into the classroom

coding-appWhile the economic demand for computer science skills continues to surge, introducing coding to the classroom can be an intimidating overture for teachers without a technical background.

To ease this transition, Wonder Workshop, creators of smart robots that teach students the basics of coding, has developed a new version of the Blockly touch app in consultation with education experts.

Through drag-and-drop programming and diverse puzzles, the app’s new content brings coding to life during STEM instruction. Students use the app to program Dash & Dot robots to sense and react to the world around them.

Blockly’s project-based puzzles are designed to engage students of all genders and backgrounds, with personalized tracks that consider students’ diverse interests. The app integrates with Wonder Workshop’s digital curriculum, which is aligned to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

“Our goal is to alleviate the pressure and anxiety teachers often experience when it comes to coding instruction,” said Vikas Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Wonder Workshop. “Teachers don’t have to do it alone. Coupling Blockly with our vetted curriculum allows educators to address this 21st-century skill without needing to research unfamiliar concepts, develop lessons, assemble products and page through manuals.”

Blockly’s careful scaffolding of coding concepts is intended to ensure students in various grade levels remain engaged and in control. Younger students who are still learning to read can use the app’s visual interface to navigate challenges with introductory programming concepts, such as command sequences and algorithm design. In addition, the app aims to help older students visualize advanced concepts like variables and comparatives.

Blockly’s puzzles were developed in collaboration with experienced computer science teachers to maximize ease of use and meaningful instruction. New lesson plans will be available for download regularly, ensuring fresh learning experiences for students.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura