Hopscotch: Coding for kids, a visual programming language

Price: iPhone/iPad - Free

Teacher Overview

Hopscotch provides a scaffolding learning for coding. This app empowers the students to experiment and create their own coding.

Students need to be independent readers and can access the many levels in the Levels section to solve coding problems. Once these have been mastered students can create their own coding programming stories.

The app provides excellent, quirky graphics that look like old school arcade games. The in-app platform and instructions is an excellent resource for students to explore other coding programs that have been uploaded to the Hopscotch community learning hub.

This is by far one of the best coding app available. 

Teacher Review

Parents need to know that the Hopscotch: Coding for kids, a visual programming language App is suitable for children aged 9 and upwards and is a programming game that provides scaffold learning (step by step) for computer coding. The app has many levels to complete and provides excellent, colourful graphics and a user friendly interface. The app has no in-app purchases with no adverts. 
The app is relatively easy to use and navigate and once shown to your child they should be able to progress with the app unsupervised, however it is noted that your child needs to be an independent reader to get the most from this application. The application requires you to sign in with an account and email address; some parents may find this a little off putting. The home screen displays two options to either Make or Play. The Make option enables you to start a project. Parents and children alike will find this very overwhelming and we suggest that you follow one of the projects with the in-app video to get used to the controls. There are four of these. We tried to return to the other option of Play but seemed to be locked in a different screen version of the application. However, there are many options here and a number of different categories.
Children can create animations and games by dragging and dropping commands and instructions into a lined script. Children choose characters, colorful monsters or animals and customize commands to make the characters move where they want or do what they want. They drag each command into place in the script and customize as they choose. They can easily experiment with what different commands do and revise their script as needed. Hit Play to run their script, and they can share it with others via email.
The app offers a simple drag and drop selection of visual blocks that represent the basic of computer programming. Children can also work with advanced functions such as loops, variables and conditional statements. While the app provides the basics for coding some children may find the application limited as the games and animations created are quite basic. Parents might what to consider further applications that provides more variety of more complex coding.
Hopscotch is a good example of a scaffolding learning platform for children. Children will start with the simplest of coding and very quickly can build their confidence to create advanced animations and games. We did find that the app was a little overwhelming in places and children would benefit from further examples for inspiration. However, the interface is easy to use the characters are colourful and bright.
This is a good application but your child may need more support than other computer programming apps in a similar age range. This application is free and supported by a great website with further ideas to explore.

Teacher Certification

Teacher Rating for the appTeacher Rating

Age Category of the appAge Group

Subject Category of the app Subjects

Computer Science

App Advertising or In-App PurchasesSafeguarding

Inside the app

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From the Developer

Hopscotch teaches kids to code using simple, intuitive building blocks. Kids can create games, animations and other programs in this colorful, interactive environment.

Want to participate in #HourOfCode? Check out our video tutorial online at hop.sc/HoCvideo

Program your characters to move, draw, and collide with each other, and use shaking, tilting, or even shouting at the iPad to control them. Hopscotch was inspired by MIT’s Scratch and gives kids a creative way to learn the fundamentals of computer programming.

Praise from our users:

"This is the best app I have ever put on my kids' iPads."
--Digital media technology teacher and dad

"The most exciting iPad app for teaching coding in primary schools. Nothing else comes close yet."
--IT coordinator, UK

"Great job!!! I'm seventy two years old, old - time amateur Apple II programmer and I used to teach my kids how to program with Logo. Now, I do the same with my grandchildren, using Hopscotch."

"The more and more I use Hopscotch with my students, the more I realize I'm teaching my students to think."
--EdTech teacher

Why learn to code? Computer Science is among the highest paid college degrees and programming jobs are growing at 2x the national average. By the year 2020, there will be a projected 1.4 million computer jobs but only 400,000 CS students. Even if kids don’t grow up to be programmers, the problem solving and critical thinking skills they will obtain playing Hopscotch are necessary for every career path.

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