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8 programming apps to cultivate an analytical mind
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August 13, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

According to the experts, learning to program will not only widen our children´s job perspectives in fields such as science, engineering and new technologies but it will help them become critical thinkers. Software is already a critical part of our lives, irrespective of what we do for a living. Learning to program and code has to do with the way we understand how the world words. Continue reading to learn about the new educational apps that will lead your children to the world of new technologies and discover the advantages offered by learning to computer science.

Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed believes that just like arithmetic and the alphabet, schools should incorporate coding and programming in their classrooms. President Barack Obama suggested young students not to buy more video games but to learn how to create them. Not to download another app, but rather help design one. In the United States, there are already many schools and online courses with easy tutorials for the little ones.  If your children´s school doesn´t offer it, here are the best apps on how to program.

ScratchDesigned by the prestigious lab of MIT, Scratch is a visual programming language for children 6 years and older. From games to animation, Scratch allows them to share their projects with the entire community thru their website. It´s free and works with Mac, Windows y Linux.

Hackety Hack is a free app that works with any operating system and teaches the basics of Ruby so they can intuitively create their very own apps.

GameStar MechanicIt has a cost of US $2 and teaches children between 7 and 14 how to design their very own videogames while they do simple exercises that stimulate their critical thinking and helps them solve problems.

Tynker is a free app that looks a lot like Scratch but this one was designed to teach to program. It includes tutorials, practical exercises and a project gallery. It´s so easy to use, children will need no assistance.

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Daisy the DinosaurFor exclusive use on the iPad this free app was designed for the little ones. Ideal as an intro to programming, it motivates children to manipulate Daisy, a character, thru challenges that include loops, events and other basic key to programming.

Cargo-BotAlso for iPad, this free app teaches programming skills thru playing. With Cargo-Bot, the children will have to complete different levels as they learn to use their critical thinking.

HopscotchFor programmers ages 8 thru 12, Hopscotch enables children to select characters and create objects with text in order to manipulate them on screen. For iPad.

Stencyl  is designed for all operating systems and consists in creating games that can be published on the online platform. To date, more than 12 thousand have been uploaded.

Remember that not all children have what it takes to become a computer genius. But the benefits of learning to program include strong analytical skills, problem solving and an enviable memory they can use to study.

Do you know of other apps that cultivate an analytical mind? Which is your favourite?

Photo Credits: Rick and Brande Beerhorst

Photo Credits: Steven Chin

 

 

 

CATEGORIES: KIDS & TIC's  |  TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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