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Want To Learn How To Code? Check Out Tickle, A User-Friendly Coding App

Want To Learn How To Code? Check Out Tickle, A User-Friendly Coding App

Just a decade or two ago, coding was a relatively unknown skill, but massive advances have now brought technology to the forefront of almost every industry. Since working with more technology is inevitable for virtually all of us in the future, learning to code is a valuable tool and an investment in your future too. That being said, however, many different coding languages exist and getting started can seem overwhelming.

Thankfully, user-friendly apps and languages have started to make coding almost like playing a game. One such app, Tickle, strives to introduce simple coding rules to kids and teens. Also an effective way to learn for adult beginner programmers, this app goes far beyond teaching users the basics, and will have you familiar with coding syntax in no time.

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    Visual coding approach

    The unique Tickle app brings a new approach to programming by organizing commands into visual elements. This lets users learn basic concepts without needing to memorize complicated syntax. In this way, users learn functions much faster.

    Jackie Wang, co-founder of the app, states, “We want to make programming education more fun and freely accessible to everyone.” The app’s layout certainly supports this goal, since users are encouraged to play with code, rather than just learn the rules. Not only that, the app is designed for multitouch gestures, so controlling each element is straightforward and intuitive.

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      Simple UI

      Tickle brings visual control to coding elements, letting users rearrange buttons to build commands. The app lets users create games and interactive stories, as well as control smart toys and smart objects around the home.

      The user friendly interface breaks down commands into easy-to-access sections, such as sounds, looks, data, and events. This makes complicated commands easy to comprehend and implement. This way, users experience the excitement of their coding coming to life immediately.

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      After a little practice, kids can jump right into controlling smart toys and designing basic games, making the app an efficient tool. Intended primarily for older children and young teens, Tickle is the perfect mobile app to learn the basics behind coding.

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        Scratch 2.0

        Tickle introduces the concepts of coding by teaching users the programming language Scratch 2.0. As the creator of Scratch, Professor Mitchel Resnick of MIT, once said, “Coding is the new literacy.” Especially for beginners, there’s no faster way to become coding literate than by learning Scratch. This language breaks complicated commands down into fill-in-the-blank-like sentences. Reminiscent of Mad Libs, Scratch 2.0 is likely the fastest, most uncomplicated way to learn computer languages and syntax.

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        By putting a user interface on top of coding language, users can learn the basic rules of computer programming without technical know-how. In turn, knowing these basics then makes learning other languages much faster. This is particularly valuable when teaching kids how to code, because memorizing endless syntax rules usually doesn’t appeal to a 10-year-old. On the other hand, Scratch 2.0 is intended as a beginner language, so real-world coding knowledge requires delving into other languages like HTML and CSS. For beginners however, Scratch 2.0 can be incredibly valuable.

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          Other Features

          Since programming knowledge is required in an increasing number of industries, learning the basics early on should really be considered essential. For now, Tickle is available only on iOS, but Android development is reportedly next on the list for release in spring 2015.

          The app is available in English Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Catalan, and Dutch, and was successfully funded on their Kickstarter.com page in September 2014. Tickle is expected to be available late fall 2014 on the iPad, though the price is still unknown. Judging from company statements, however, the app is meant to be available for everyone, which hints at a low priced or free app.

          Find out more about Tickle.

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            Alicia Prince

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            Last Updated on February 19, 2020

            11 Google Chrome Apps & Features for Getting More Done with Less Effort

            11 Google Chrome Apps & Features for Getting More Done with Less Effort

            In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

            Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

            In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

            Minimizing Tabs

            Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

            Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

            Incognito Mode

            Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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            1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
            2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
            3. Download extension New Incognito Window

            This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

            Save Webpages as PDF Files

            Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

            Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

            Open Recently-closed Tabs

            Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

            One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

            The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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            Solve Mathematical Problems

            Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

            For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

            Play Media Files

            Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

            In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

            Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

            With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

            Stay Focus(e)d

            Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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            Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

            With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

            This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

            Grammarly for Editing

            Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

            You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

            Loom

            There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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            There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

            With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

            Chrome Calendar Extension

            No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

            Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

            Final Thoughts

            Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

            Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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