Makes coding accessible – I always thought coding was just for super smart math and science geeks, but Bitsbox really makes it easy for anyone to get started. Within five minutes of opening the box, we were making our own app. You do need both a computer and a phone to use this program. You type in the code for the app you want to try via their website on your computer and then use a QR scanner to scan the code on your phone to play it on your phone.
Each booklet is thematic – Can I just say as a teacher that thematic stuff is the best! Each booklet you receive is a different theme. The one we received was “Lights, Camera, Action” and all the apps are related somehow to TV and movies. In this collection are simple, silly apps which reference Harry Potter, The Martian, Finding Nemo, and Star Wars.
Full of choices – There are 18 apps to code, and you don’t have to do them in any particular order, although they do progress from easier to more challenging. Our favorite app was “It came from 1955” which is a reference to Godzilla. When you tap the screen an object spirals down and gets chomped by the monster (no graphic violence). The original code features a business guy in a suit falling into the monster’s mouth, but we started changing the code to have him swallow tigers, cars, airplanes, buildings, etc.
Playful learning at its best – We were having so much fun experimenting with ways to change and customize the apps we hardly realized the profound learning that’s happening behind the scenes. It doesn’t take long to start integrating the new lingo of coding.
Quickly builds confidence – No need to fear pushing the wrong key, you’re not going to break anything. The steps are easy to follow and yet the apps are open-ended enough to add your own customization. Working through the easier apps and seeing the challenges ahead, these are confidence-building activities.
Empowering – There’s something very empowering about bridging the gap between being a consumer and being a creator. We purchase apps all the time without thinking about how they’re made. Now anyone can tap into that new frontier of coding.
Great for cooperative learning – Coding these apps provides a low-stress, high-interest experience for working with a partner. These would be excellent for siblings to share, after-school coding clubs, and a great activity for parents to do with their child. Since my five-year-old can’t type, I did the typing and she tested the app on the phone and provided the creative changes.
Have you tried Bitsbox? The Bitsbox site states it works best for 6 to 12 year olds.
Let us know what you think!
We received this complimentary Bitsbox to review for our readers. All opinions are my own.
Now for the GIVEAWAY!
Bitsbox is awarding a lucky winner (U.S. only) a "Lights, Camera, Action" box !
Enter to win in the Rafflecopter via our Giveaway page below.
Last day to enter is Friday, April 15, 2016. Winner will be announced Saturday, April 16, 2016.