The Foos is a wonderful, imaginative app that teaches computer programming & video game design in fun, inclusive way. It is developed by codeSpark and conveniently available for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, even your web browser & the Mac App store – it should be accessible to anyone with access to a device and an internet connection.
In fact accessibility and inclusiveness are built right into the app. Kids as young as 4 can start to grasp basic coding concepts like sequencing commands and loops. Careful attention has been paid to contrast so even color blind kids can participate. And that’s not all – the characters & quirky style include elements both boys and girls can love, including adorable characters like Ninja Girl, goofy monsters and more. Kids get to create an avatar from a wide variety of options that cover the whole gamut from happy to sad, cute to tough.
I recently met with codeSpark Co-Founder & CEO Grant Hosford to find out more about the thinking behind this amazing app. He shared with me his personal story – having 2 elementary age daughters he noticed a lack of coding skills-building tools, especially those inclusive of girls. codeSpark was born to fill that gap and provide curriculum, online tools, apps & games as well as offline activities to help make early computer science learning fun. At Coding for Treasure we share Grant’s passion for creating an inclusive environment where all types of kids get the opportunity to learn to code.
Grant shared with me some of his favorite features of The Foos app, highlighting how kids are taken step-by-step through the learning process and offered positive reinforcement for a job well done. There is a virtual currency component where kids earn coins to be spent on items to build their own video game design. Once kids move through a series of increasingly difficult learning exercises the creative mode is open to them. Here they get to create their own video games using coding skills, share with a global community of kids and even play video games developed by other kids. The community is fully COPPA compliant, meaning it is a safe place for kids to connect.
Overall I was very impressed with how closely codeSpark and Coding for Treasure are aligned in our mission & vision. Parent’s – do give this program a try with your kids – they will love it and have lots of fun while learning to code.