In Move the Turtle, players learn programming basics by controlling a rather cute, little turtle. By putting themselves in the turtles shoes (if they fit), they can decide what direction to move in and for how many steps to travel. It’s worth noting that although you learn programming skills, there’s not actually any specific coding to learn. The movement of the turtle is controlled by commands that are added to a list.
All commands are configured visually (with sliders, buttons and such), and are reordered by dragging them up and down. It’s presented more like a game than an educational tool for teaching programming — an extremely effective format for learning.
As many classrooms have limited iPad resources, it’s good to know that Move the Turtle has a built-in Accounts system, allowing multiple users to individually save their own progress and programs.
In each lesson (beginner, intermediate and advanced), you learn about new commands as you go, with more advanced commands only appearing once you’ve learnt about them. So there’s no need for prior knowledge in any way. Once children get to grips with the basic setup, they can use the Compose mode to create any program they wish, using the available commands.
Available for iOS.