TANKS powered by Tangibl™
TANKS is an inexpensive programming tool that encourages the development of computing and software development knowledge from a young age through the use of a mobile application and paper tokens.
Software Development is one of the most sought-after skill sets in South Africa (and most foreign countries). Any growing economy requires an increasing number of software developers to maintain the growing dependence on software and technology. TANKS aims to introduce more learners to computer programming in an attempt to encourage them to consider computing science as a career choice.
The TANKS app only requires paper tokens and a smartphone to introduce learners to programming, making the experience accessible to more people than coding programmes that are dependent on the availability of a computer.
Various solutions exist on the market with the aim of introducing the youth to programming. All of these solutions require the use of a computer; and in some cases additional hardware. TANKS aims to address the need for introducing programming to children and youth using only a cell phone and paper tokens (which can be printed on normal paper).
The app is available for Android and iPhone. It contains 35 levels of increasing in difficulty and thus growing the users capacity. By playing the game, learners are introduced to basic turtle graphics command (move forward, turn left etc) as well as if and looping constructs.
South Africa is one of the countries with the highest mobile penetration on the continent. This means that people are more likely to have access to a mobile phone than a computer. The TANKS app only requires paper tokens and a smartphone to introduce learners to programming, making the experience accessible to more people than coding programmes that are dependent on the availability of a computer.
TANKS powered by Tangibl™ was developed in 2017 as an honours project by BSc Computer Science student Byron Batteson, at Nelson Mandela University, under the supervision of Prof Jean Greyling.