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?
Human Resource Machine EDU can be used with a wide variety of learners–from beginners to experts. However, most teachers using the game will need some understanding of coding to make this a truly useful learning tool. There’s very little support for students who have difficulty with different levels of the game, and very little support material for teachers on how to teach the concepts that are inherent parts of each challenge. Teachers will have to compensate for the lack of hints, examples, and actual instructions. The teacher dashboard is an effective tool for pinpointing students’ strengths/weaknesses and designing targeted instructional support. As some of the levels can be quite challenging, most students will eventually run into roadblocks. Teachers without some experience with coding concepts may find it difficult to help these students (undermining the potential of this well-designed game).
Pros: Game design puts conceptual understanding of coding to work; challenges are interesting and fun.
Cons: Support for teachers and students is weak; doesn’t use coding terminology.
Bottom line: For teachers with some coding background, this is a great game-based tool for learning to code.