My next review is on the app Lightbot. Lightbot is available as a download for the iTunes store and also as an Android app on Google Play. The app, unlike others, isn’t free but at only $2.99 (about £1.80) it’s not exactly breaking the bank.
Lightbot builds on the concept of Beebots as I mentioned in an earlier post, but the interface creates a more “3D” look which makes it much more visually appealing for children.
The aim of the game is to program the little robot so he can navigate his way around, dodging obstacles and jumping over things, to “light up” the tiles. Once the required tiles have been lit you can progress onto the next level.
The little robot may look cute and the concept simple, but this app cleverly introduces children to many concepts of programming such as loops and basic algorithms. There are 40 levels that progress in difficulty and 20 “challenge stars” to collect to keep children motivated.
After sending out yet another Twitter plea Rick Barnes (@BarnesRick) replied saying “kids are hooked. 5 year old daughter tried when she saw it on a tablet but it got hard too fast.” It’s because of this I think Lightbot is better suited to KS2, possibly upper KS2. The early levels may seem easy, but they do get harder and I think it will stretch older children, but not defeat them.
Again, the only downside I have about this app is that it is not available online, accessed by your standard PC. Schools need to have the appropriate equipment installed in order to use these great apps, which might be a problem in some cases.
Have any of you used Lightbot with your children? Do you get put off of software that is only available as an app, and not accessible on a standard PC? Let me know your thoughts! 😀