Ready is the open-ended software creator introducing students to computational thinking

App of the Week
Formats: Website and app for iOS devices

Website: www.getready.io

What does it help with?

Ready exposes core computational thinking to people in advance of learning a computer language, like Javascript or C. For educators, Ready can be mastered in under six hours, enabling them to introduce computational thinking in the classroom, without knowing any coding.

What grade and age range?  K-12

Is Ready core/supplemental/special needs/extracurricular/professional development or what?

Ready is like a “Powerpoint for making software” and scales to any level of experience, from age 4 to 104.  Current users range from pre-school children to professional designers.  It can be used as part of core curriculum to support STEM/STEAM and project-based learning strategies, after school as part of an extracurricular club or “maker space”, and educator professional development to augment their computational skills.

What subject, topic, what standards is it mapped to?

Strong computational thinking skills support and build connections between the Common Core State Standards. The key shifts in the CCSS in English Language Arts and Mathematics express a need for stronger analytical skills, depth of learning, coherence across disciplines, and higher level conceptual understandings, to name a few. Developing computational and systems thinking skills will help students achieve and surpass the bar set by the CCSS.

The Ready Maker’s Computational Thinking Curriculum (RMCTC) under development is designed to:

  • Build Logic and Reasoning Skills
  • Prepare Students for Programming
  • Encourage new and multi-perspective approaches to problem solving
  • Effectively use representation for abstract concepts
  • Move from specific solutions to general applications.
  • Transfer understanding of one concept to a new domain.

The initial curriculum is geared towards middle school students, but it can be adapted to accommodate many levels.

The RMCTC covers fundamentals of computational thinking in an applied and situated environment. As students build projects, play and create games, and complete tasks, they learn methods for abstract thinking and logical reasoning. The RMCTC is composed of 5 units that use the Ready software to introduce computational thinking strategies. At the end of each unit, students complete a “Design Challenge” to integrate the various skills they’ve been acquiring. Assessment materials are provided for each activity.

Each module is designed to incorporate concepts from the middle school CCSS, not only to reinforce the materials that students are utilizing academically, but also to explore how these elements of math and literature can be applied in new and exciting ways. Within the units, Ready provides references and rationale for targeted standards from the common core.

Rricing model? There are four tiers of pricing:

  1. Free: anyone can download Ready and build with a free account.
  2. Maker license: $6.45 / mo.  Allows people to upload custom assets and showcase projects online.
  3. Group license: $18.85 / mo. Designed for educators to put 30 people into a group, see their progress, upload assets for the group, and showcase group work.
  4. School license: $195.95 / mo. The same features as the group license, but up to 300 students in several classes.

Are there services around it? The group license receives additional professional development support.

What makes Ready unique? Describe the characteristics--how is it designed for user interface, user experience? What instructional design principles are at work here?

Ready is the only software creator running on Unity3D, the world’s most powerful and popular professional software development environment for mobile games.  Over 50% of all games on Android and iOS are built using Unity.  Students and educators are exposed to a real tool— not an academic exercise— building projects that are app-store worthy.  No other educational coding app approaches this level of power and ease of use: educators intimidated by coding can learn the Ready interface in under six hours, and bring computational thinking to their classrooms.

Designed by the same designers who currently lead global product design for Facebook, Ready has the look and feel of a professional development tool— no Scratch cats!  Underlying everything is the belief that people “learn by doing”— the tool invites exploration — it is impossible to make a syntax error in Ready, only logic errors, where are learning emerges.  The Remix function enables people to take apart projects, see how they’re made, and then publish their own version.

 

Teacher review:

Ready was the perfect upgrade for my Scratch class to a simpler yet more powerful tool. Introducing Ready and building was easy, intuitive and fast... and the kids love it!

— Mary. C - 6th Grade Teacher

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