During the #HourofCode, our 5th Graders started using Kodable, a fantastic iPad app that introduces children to the fundamentals of Computer Programming. The game was a huge hit with our students, with many choosing to play it during free time and some even downloading the app at home. This week, we were very lucky to have a Skype chat with the two founders of Kodable, Grechen Huebner and Jon Mattingly. After sharing a bit about how they became interested in Computer Science and coding, Grechen and Jon fielded questions from the 5th Graders on topics ranging from the challenges of developing an app and getting it into the App Store (Grechen offered some very interesting insight into the complex process) to the fun and creativity involved in designing and naming Kodable’s legendary Fuzz balls. All of the teachers present were impressed with the way Grechen and Jon spoke to the kids, sharing developmentally appropriate information about Computer Science yet still challenging our students to think hard about complex concepts. For example, when one student asked, "Why don't computers just talk to each other in English like we do?" Jon was able to offer a brief and tangible explanation of binary protocols to explain how computers communicate. Since the #HourofCode, quite a few of our students have developed a budding curiosity in Computer Science, and I'm sure Grechen and Jon have inspired even more of our 5th Graders to pursue this interest in the future! For any elementary educators looking to introduce CS into their curriculum, Kodable is the way to go!
Grechen and Jon chatting with 5th Graders via Skype