Friday, June 28, 2013

Teach Programming Skills with Move the Turtle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKPC0fKUxB4&feature=youtube_gdata

http://movetheturtle.com/

Move the Turtle is a great application to introduce computer programming to students of all ages.  It teaches logic, as well as a healthy dose of creative critical thinking.  By teaching using this app, you can introduce students to complex ideas such as variables at a very early age.  This introduction to these complex skills allows them to expand on them with greater ease once they hit algebra as an example.  It also helps put a real world application to some of these skills that older students are learning and can be very challenging to students of all ages.  I strongly recommend that you take a look at this wonderful app and think about adding it to your teaching arsenal.

Why I like it:

This app uses a system similar to that found in angry birds and other applications that students are already used to using.  This eliminates some of the prerequisite knowledge that is a barrier to classroom implementation.  This system also creates a strong game like feel that encourages students to work through frustrations.

How you could use it:

This application could be utilized as a supplemental instructional material for a variety of lesson plans. It can also be used as a differentiation strategy as it would inspire some of your high level thinkers in the classroom.  Students can work on this application on all levels and it meets many of the common technology standards.  If you are following a plan to work towards computer programing in your school, this app could be utilized as an entry level computer programing course. It would also make for an excellent use of rainy day time as it works like a game, but teaches like a professor.

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