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.
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.