News

App of the Week: Coding puzzles are hard fun

By Stephen Noonoo
October 24th, 2016

Fun elementary coding through hands-on puzzle tiles

cork volcano app

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

Cork The Volcano – Puzzlets is a hands-on programming game that works with your phone or tablet. One of Puzzlet’s mantras is “plan, program, play.” Elementary students make a plan to help Rus the Dinosaur and his friends stop an erupting volcano from destroying Pear Island. They build a program out of real Puzzlet pieces in the Play Tray and then play, or run the program, to see what happens on their device.

Price: Free

Grades: K-5

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Students learn to think in new ways while playing a really entertaining game that extends beyond the screen.

Cons: A short cartoon introduces a problem, but kids may not understand right away that they need to stopper the volcano.

Bottom line: Programming that combines engaging physical puzzle tiles with digital gameplay.

About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.


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