Vizwik is a fairly new coding application to hit the scene in North America. I’ve been following their story after meeting Simon, the CEO, a little over a year ago. Vizwik stood out to me for a variety of reasons, most importantly that 1) it is Canadian and 2) it does more than other tools like Scratch, because users can charge for the content they publish – and actually engage in their apps and games on iOS devices.
From their website:
We believe that everyone can develop digital literacy to make their own Mobile Apps, which is why we created Vizwik for everyone to freely use.
We created Vizwik to bring digital literacy to everyone. Based on 20 years of research Vizwik is one of the most powerful and usable coding systems ever created, accessible now for the first time to teachers and students through Vizwik’s social learning platform.
When discussing the functionality with Simon, he’ll admit “Vizwik isn’t a toy, it’s a great next step after Scratch.” I’ve played with the tool over the last few months and will admit it is a challenging piece of software. Rightfully so, as it is equally as powerful! Vizwik users can build, test and publish a variety of apps and games while previewing them on different pieces of hardware.
Like many other coding apps, Vizwik doesn’t require the teacher to have much experience with coding to begin using it in class.
I think the most natural fit for a tool like Vizwik here in Ontario is the secondary Business Studies courses, especially when exploring entrepreneurship.
It also fits nicely with the Financial Literacy piece discussed in many classrooms.
Since the Creating Pathways to Success program has gone k-12, I like the notion of exploring Vizwik with students who may have a future in video game design or app building. With Vizwik, students no longer have to wait until after graduation to determine if entrepreneurship is for them.
I am a big fan of tools like Hopscotch, Scratch and Tynker, but haven’t quite found a tool for middle school grades to really dive into creating digital content. Vizwik seems like an ideal fit for grades 7-12 and isn’t limited to specific classes. The Vizwik Hour of Code tutorial demonstrates how to build a voting app, which could be used by Student Council. Integrating Vizwik into class topics is only limited by the imagination of the teacher and students.