Product Review of Blackbird
Blackbird is a standalone platform that allows learners to move at their own pace and learn as they go. It also allows them to play around with their code in the workshop and try extra challenges once they have completed guided exercises. Educators can assign various curriculum to their learners and allow them to work through it at their own pace. It also allows for learners to copy their work into the workshop and then submit it to the educator for feedback and ‘”feathers” awarded for work well done. One stand-out feature is that its foundation is applying programming to subject-matter material, so learners learn coding in the context of math or science concepts. At the time of review, the curricula is relateively sparse, but there are promises of more to come. Also, the interface gives kids lots of specific feedback, so the debugging process really adds to their learning.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Using a variety of hints, stars, feathers, and other motivational tools — in addition to kids seeing authentic progress — should keep learners engaged and wanting to learn more.
Curriculum and Instruction
There are lots of hints and step-by-step instructions provided at each part of the process and a good selection of pre-made activities for the learners to explore. Universal design and multilingual options aren’t readily apparent.