So, let’s talk about the value of coding. In simple terms, coding (or programming) involves learning how to put sequences of commands together based on a set of rules. Coding is what enables us to create Android apps, computer software and even websites, to name a few. Whenever your child is learning to code, they are learning how to go from a blank slate of commands (or words) and link them together to achieve a certain goal. For young kids, this is especially useful for gaining early computational thinking skills, which will also help them for mastering math and science later in their school years. Since most young kids are also early readers, providing a coding environment that combines visual and audio inputs with simple commands is essential for their learning. An interface that is also simple to use, without too much complexity or a high learning curve, is also required to fully engage young children.

And this is exactly where Tommy the Turtle – Learn to Code fits in. With Tommy the Turtle, children are exposed to the basics of coding with simple commands, sequences and even loops. It relies on visual learning and voice guidance as a cute turtle does actions based on their input. In addition, the game also features a challenge mode where children can test their coding abilities by solving challenges, where other friendly characters tell Tommy what to do. Once a challenge is completed, they advance to the next. A quick tutorial is also provided for first time users that teach them how to interact with Tommy and have it perform actions whereas the free play mode allows children to express their creativity by selecting any set of commands without any limitations. An interesting addition to this app is a mode under settings called “switch-scanning.” In this mode, even children with motor disabilities are provided the opportunity to learn.

With Tommy the Turtle, children are exposed to the basics of coding with simple commands, sequences and even loops.

This year, Zyrobotics, the startup that created this app, was selected as one of the 2017 edtech companies supported by the NewSchools Venture Fund, a national nonprofit which helps to spur product growth and effectiveness in educational areas identified by teachers and students as lagging in innovation.

With their Android and iOS app finally out in the market, Zyrobotics is set to ensure that teaching coding to young kids is the new standard. Given the rapidly growing interest in programming careers, it will be interesting to see how Zyrobotics will leverage their resources to make a mark against other big players such as Scratch Jr or Code.org. With its unique accessible learning tilt, Tommy the Turtle can really make a difference in enhancing learning for young children. Tommy the Turtle is now available for iOS and Android.

[appbox googleplay com.Zyrobotics.TommyTurtle ]