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Info Exchange Magazine


Apps Alert No. 26 29 January 2014


Free or Lite indicates that the app is free today. Some apps may be for Android devices, as well as for iPads. Editor: Florence Longhorn


Note the new flyers available on the Info Exchange website for Flo’s courses and workshops for the first half of 2014! Access them from the link on the Info Exchange website home page.  

Please send an email to if there are any particular areas of apps of interest to you. I am happy to research and produce such a list, not only for you, but for other readers to use as well.

Apps Coding – it’s not rocket science! The bumper edition apps alert is a little different this week following a request for coding apps from Chris at Sandgate School in Kendal. Coding features in the new UK IT curriculum in the UK. It starts around the level of understanding of a five- to sixyear old, so it is a little beyond the skills of the children and young people I know best. However, what I have done is brainstormed a range of free apps that cover children's introductory levels for coding. I have put in verbatim developers notes without comments, except to highlight ages they indicate are appropriate to use a coding app.

Handy Hint Even if you cannot use the apps for your learners, pass them on to a local primary school who will leap on the list! Here is some info on why coding is useful for young learners from - handy for goal setting!

Also note the world wide coding club founded in Dublin – CoderDojo:

CoderDojo Free The CoderDojo app ties together CoderDojos around the world and displays the latest images, news, tweets, and kids' coding resources from kids' coding clubs around the world. Locate the CoderDojo nearest you and maybe your learners will learn to develop their own app! Future plans for the app include creating a coding quiz section with input from the CoderDojo kids and kids' project showcase. M.I.T., Cambridge, USA, has a coding app as well, a bit beyond me …

Scratch Maze This Scratch Maze app contains a number of video tutorials that will guide you through creating your own maze game in the popular programming environment Scratch. Test your knowledge in the quiz section and post your score to Facebook. To create your own game you will need a copy of Scratch on your desktop computer. The Scratch program is available free of charge for OS X, Windows and Linux.

  Instructions: 1. Download and install Scratch on to your home computer from 2. Play the videos in this app and follow along on your home computer. This app was designed for the iPad, but is distributed as universal binary for those who wish to view it on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Note: The videos in this tutorial do not contain sound.

Happy Coding!

Cato's Hike Lite: A programming and logic odyssey Developer's Notes - A little programmer odyssey! 'Who says that computer programming should only be left to the adults?... although Cato’s Hike is geared towards children, it can definitely unlock the little programmer in all of us' (AppAdvice) Even though this is the Lite version, it includes the tutorial world and the full map editor and sandbox so you can create your own little worlds and puzzles and play through them and challenge your friends and family around you. The full version of the game will unlock the rest of the worlds and allow you to email and share your programs and maps as well as open maps and programs that your friends and family send you so you can teach and learn from them as well! Cato is a little boy who, just like every little boy, likes to go out and play. One fine day Cato was playing outside when a portal opened up in front of him - a portal to another world! Cato stepped through and discovered that this world, unlike his own, didn't follow the same rules. Every time he tried to take a step or an action, he would find himself stuck in place. Stuck, that is, until he finally discovered the rules in this universe: by writing a program for himself he would be able to overcome all obstacles and learn something new along the way! Features: Simple programming interface using beautiful cards with pictures. 59 levels and 10 tutorials (always working to add more!). Powerful map editor so you can create your own maps and puzzles and share with friends. Preview your maps directly in the map editor to save time and test out your maps more quickly! ! Saves program progress so you can pick up at any time and iteratively develop. ! Email your puzzle solutions to share your genius with others. ! Beautiful artwork and amusing sound effects and music. ! ! ! !

  ! A manual to help guide parents and more interested users. ! Puzzles ranging from easy to hard to teach different programming concepts without trying to force them. ! Loops, branches and if/else, and simple memory using colored flags are the main tools used to introduce programming. ! Emailed maps include gorgeous screenshot of what you are sending so your friends know what to expect. ! Cato's Hike teaches children (ages 5+) the essentials of programming and how to think about solving complex problems. ! The challenges in there are solvable easily by children of all ages but more nuanced and complex solutions should challenge teenagers and parents alike! ! Just a fun puzzle game :) Upcoming features: ! ! ! !

MORE LEVELS! Hints on harder levels. Possibly more tutorial levels if enough ask for it. Possible cloud-sync.

Essentially, 'Cato’s Hike' is a universal game for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to teach kids and young children basic programming skills. The younger ones will obviously enjoy solving levels using simpler coding techniques but the hope is the older ones will pick up more advanced concepts like loops and branching as well as even more advanced concepts like a basic stack or memory! There is enough in here to keep everyone from children to parents engaged! More challenges are upcoming however so stay tuned!'

Coddy Free - Innovative educational tool for little programmers Developer's Notes CODDY FREE is an original educational tool with the main objective of creating a sequence of steps so that the pencil Coddy can draw a pattern you have chosen from the menu or created by yourself. Do you think it is easy?? There are a maximum of 220 rows to be filled in and there are 7 basic commands to be used. Now, you can make it. Excellent for kids to practice and learn their programming skills. See if your child has the talent for one of the most wanted jobs of tomorrow. The game also encourage logical thinking. There are already 10 prepared levels waiting for you. Buttons and all small elements were created from the real plasticine, in order to give you the touch of something familiar, something we all have experienced as children while materializing our first visions. ... and of course - we use the plasticine to give the feeling of the real 3D :)


Kinescript Lite: visual programming Developer's Notes KineScript is a visual programming language that children can learn a code and share it. It's easy to make a scene with built-in sprite characters, stage images and sounds library. Drag a script and build the script block to control the flow and to change the behaviour. You can build animations, games and stories easily to share them by email. Designed for children, but for all the ages who want to learn a code. KineScript is inspired by Scratch by MIT Media Lab and other open sources, specially cocos2d-html. The library contains many other artist's works; free sound clips and clip arts specially from openclipart community. Features: 1. Built-in characters, stage images and sounds library. 2. Support user defined variable. 3. Built-in script palettes; Character controls and animation functions, stage controls, if/while conditions, sub-routine, math operations, sound controls, coloured-tracing and particle effects. 4. Script inspector to change the number, colour, math operations and change a sprite or sound easily. 5. Dragging a script to easily to attach or detach to build block to work. 6. Support full screen player window to run or to edit the scene. 7. Export to email and import from it. 8. Include easy how to guide. 9. Sound recoding. 10. Sample project included.

Move the Turtle: programming for kids Developer's Notes Winner of a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. FEATURED BY APPLE in the "NEW & NOTEWORTHY" / EDUCATION section of the iTunes App Store! 'I highly recommend it for all kids, whether or not they want to get into programming. The kind of thinking required to solve the tasks in the app is important for everyone to learn, for every field of study.' ( / Geek Dad) 'Are you a computer geek that loves programming or are you a classroom teacher instructing on such skills as angles, measurement and two dimensional geometry? If you answered yes to either these, then you have come to the right educational app' (

  "I spent my formative tech-years trundling a robo-turtle around the floor while learning the Logo programming language. Now there's an app for that, although in this case the turtle is virtual' (The Guardian)

Move the Turtle teaches children (ages 5+) the basics of programming (yes, we do mean coding!). Challenges and rewards keep children (with parents' assistance) & teenagers (on their own) engaged! Share procedures via public links! See commands used in other users' procedures! Import the procedures to your Move the Turtle app!

Move the Turtle is an educational application for iPhone and iPad that teaches children the basics of creating computer programs, using intuitive graphic commands. Do you remember the Logo programming language? A friendly Turtle will introduce your child step by step to the basic concepts of programming in a colourful graphic environment. Who knows, maybe your child will be the next outstanding programmer! By completing the tasks, one after another, your child learns: ! how to plan complex activities composed of simple elements, ! how to reuse previously completed work, ! how to use graphics, spatial orientation and sound in programming. Your child will also become familiar with the notions of loops, procedures, variables and conditional instructions. Programming is about more than completing tasks; it is also about implementing your own ideas using your imagination. With this in mind we give you the opportunity to create your own programs from scratch or based on our inspiring examples.

Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers Developer's Notes Become the ultimate code warrior and hack your friends with Hakitzu Elite. An epic multiplayer robot combat game, where you learn the basics of coding while battling robots in both single and multiplayer missions. Victory is in the code! As seen on Mashable, Gamezebo, The Guardian, VentureBeat, WIRED and more! Hakitzu Elite helps you learn the basics of JavaScript. No previous coding knowledge is required as the game takes you from beginner, to coder, to hacker in both the single player mode and on the battlefield. The more you code by hand, the more points you receive to unlock ultimate weapons for a battle royale in the gaming arena. New in-game leaderboards rank you against your friends, taking your rivalry to a new level.

Features: ! Free game. ! Learn to program in JavaScript. ! Hone your coding skills with 25 Single Player Challenges, easy-to-master interactive tutorials and coding boot camp. ! Compete against your Facebook friends online with a large arsenal of weapons and in four awesome arenas. ! Earn coding credits for match and challenge completion to spend in the Chop Shop. ! A mega marketplace with a vast array of weapons, textures, robot styles, and paints to choose from. ! Customize robot warriors and share your creations with friends on Facebook. ! Play through different coding ranks sequentially: Beginner, Junior Coder, Coder and Hacker to become the ultimate robot hacker champion.

Hopscotch: Coding for kids, a visual programming language Developer's Notes 2013 Parents' Choice Gold Award winner, 2014 Children's Technology Review: Best Educational Technology, featured by Apple in Education and Best for 9 -12 - 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 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.' (Grandfather) " ‘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. Ranked #4 in Education Apps. Recommended for kids ages 8 to ∞.

Move It on Lite Developer's Notes - Little Ridebot has lost control over its wheel and rides continuously on! Can you make sure he doesn't get hurt? Try to get Ridebot as far as possible in this new and exciting game! Slide platforms, destroy crates and blocks, think fast while pressing buttons and shake your way through the level. With five sorts of randomly generated and differently triggered obstacles, Move it On guarantees an addictive and polyvalent experience! The five categories each contain many different obstacles. Features: ! A very cute robot ! Retina graphics ! Pickup and play! ! Exciting and addicting gameplay ! Lots of obstacles to pass ! A couple of Power ups ! Awesome achievements ! In-game list of High scores and other statistics ! Regularly updated (e.g. Twitter submission, Game Center support and refreshing graphical themes coming soon) Having doubts? Don’t worry, you can try it for yourself! Search for ‘Move it On LITE’ to experience the awesomeness for free.

Light-bot Lite Developer's Notes Get kids hooked on programming within minutes! Light-bot is a programming puzzle game: a puzzle game that uses game mechanics that are firmly rooted in programming concepts. Light-bot Lite lets players gain a practical understanding of basic concepts like writing instruction sequences and procedures, just by guiding a robot with commands to light up tiles and solve levels. In the full version, players also get to play with loops and conditionals, as well as gain access to 40 levels in total with 20 challenge stars to collect. Teachers worldwide are choosing Light-bot first out of other games and software when introducing their students to programming. Light-bot Lite features 12 levels and 4 challenge stars to collect.

Daisy the Dinosaur Free Learn the basics of computer programming with Daisy the Dinosaur! This free, fun app has an easy drag and drop interface that kids of all ages can use to animate Daisy to dance across the screen. Kids will intuitively grasp the basics of objects, sequencing, loops and events by solving this app's challenges. After playing Daisy, kids can choose to download a kit to program their own computer game.

A.L.E.X Free A.L.E.X. is a fun puzzle game and a great way to train your brain. A.L.E.X. helps you think and plan logically as you program your robot A.L.E.X. with a sequence of commands to get through each level from start to finish. I named A.L.E.X. after my nephew, and created a game I would want him to play. The lower levels of the games are suitable for children as young as six and the game is enjoyable for adults too! FREE VERSION ! Includes 25 levels ! Includes feature to create your own puzzle UPGRADE ! 35 additional levels ! More block types to create your own puzzles ! 3 additional looks for A.L.E.X.

Cargo-bot Free Presenting Cargo-Bot. The first game programmed entirely on iPad® using Codea™. Cargo-Bot is a puzzle game where you teach a robot how to move crates. Sounds simple, right? Try it out! ! ! ! ! !

Beautiful retina graphics Fiendish puzzles A game about programming, programmed entirely on iPad Record your solutions and share them on YouTube Learn more about how it was made by searching for Codea on the App Store

Apps Alert No. 26