There are a lot of different systems that want to help educate the next generation on how to learn and implement code. Various approaches are being used by these companies to see what appeals best to their audience. A New York based startup named Hopscotch is one of those companies.
Hopscotch?s unique appeal is to be mobile device focused. It is a graphical type of programming language that has been specifically designed for the iPad. It goes on to call itself an ?iPad programming language? and it focuses on making coding easier for the user by having graphical elements that kids can use to drag and drop to build their programs. It?s very similar to Scratch, the creative learning community tool, but for iPads.
The app?s co-founder, Jocelyn Leavitt, explains that: ‘Hopscotch works by dragging and dropping colorful blocks of code to build routines?. She goes on to add that: ?These routines can then be saved and attached to different objects and activated by different events on the iPad (such as ?when the iPad is shaken? or ?when the iPad hears a loud noise?). So you could, for instance, program a bear to do a somersault every time you clapped your hands.?
Hopscotch is actually an object oriented type of programming language, but it is visual. Since the approach is visual, it appeals to kids who are beginners and gets them interested without bugging them about the intricacies of codes or different syntax and typos along the way.
The Hopscotch app has been in the app store for over a year and they have mentioned that the app has been used to create over 1.5 million projects which amount to more than 57 million blocks of code. They aren?t disclosing the number of users, but the app has been used by teachers and kids alike in more than 100 countries so far.
The new version combines the editor and the stage portions of the app onto one screen rather than sitting them on separate screens as was previously implemented. There is also a new feature called ?abilities?, or what is called functions or subroutines in a standard programming naming convention, that allows users to go into more complex programming concepts as they continue to build their apps.
Hopscotch envisions their product as a digital toy that makes digital toys. Kind of like 21st century Legos.
Photo Source: Hopscotch website