Friday, August 2, 2013

From Logo to Scratch: Daisy the Dinosaur and Hopscotch

Daisy the Dinosaur and Hopscotch certainly finds their roots in Logo and Scratch.  The programming environment provides a scratch-like approach to connecting blocks to teach coding.  Currently, they are both available exclusively on the iPad.  I imagine they will reach more devices in time, but I especially like the fact that they provide an opportunity to teach coding on the iPad.

Daisy the Dinosaur is especially great for younger students.  In my opinion, his app could be used to introduce students in grades K-2 to programming concepts.  The interface is beautiful and very easy to understand.  In fact, I give the developers a lot of credit for keeping it simple as to not overwhelm young students with too many choices.  Check out the video as the gentleman with the lovely British accent does a wonderful job walking you through using the app.

Hopscotch is created by the same people that created Daisy the Dinosaur and brings the concepts to the next level.  Hopscotch seems to be appropriate for students in grades 3 - 8.  Once again, there's no question that the developers drew from Logo and Scratch.  I was very excited to relive my Logo days of drawing fun designs by programming my iPad by connecting scratch-like blocks.  The graphic interface is fun and generally speaking, Hopscotch is very easy to use.  It is quite robust compared to Daisy the Dino (as it should be) and provides greater opportunities for students to learn coding on a deeper level.  

Who better to demonstrate a tool than a 9 year old? Nice work, Thomas!

Hopscotch and Daisy the Dinosaur are FREE!  Download them and please share your impressions with us here!