I have had my six advanced kids working with Codea for the last few weeks. Codea is a code editor built on Lua for writing code for the iPad on an iPad. I am actually impressed with the editor and its capabilities but as I have said before I really do not think the language I use is all that important. What are important to me is how interested the kids are in learning the language, how good the material (tutorials, books, forums, etc.) that goes with the language really is and how much effort I have to put into adapting it for my class. Codea has been very good primarily because of one contributor, Dermot Balsom (ignatz). He has written two free short very useful ebooks and a number of very nice tutorials. There is enough in his material to get the kids started and to get them far enough into the language so they can actually make some fun little apps.
A number of these students worked with Corona last year. While both use Lua the way they handle graphics completely different. This difference is going to be great for learning a new language. They are going to see different languages have different purposes. I am still thinking about the differences myself. Hopefully we will see the obvious advantages of one over the other for different applications. Since I am not a wiz bang programmer this should be an interesting experience. I hope to have them write a simple game in each language to get a comparison. From what I have seen so far I think Corona is more powerful with more versatility. Codea’s plus is you can actually code on the iPad. The adventure is well worth the $9.99 for Codea.