Leveling Up

Our wonderful CPAS coders have leveled up their programming skills this term with both Scratch and the text-based Processing programming language.

For the first half of the term students were exposed to more advanced Scratch processes not covered in Game Design Adventures.  They discovered how to create interactive games that utilise web cameras and quiz games using lists.  They even reconstructed a pre-made game from scratch without looking at the original code.

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Working online through a shared classroom account enabled students to continue working on their projects during out-of-class time.  Late one particular Tuesday evening I noticed two students were rushing to do more work on their games before class the following day.

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Earlier in the term the students expressed many times that they didn’t feel they were ready for coding with text, but they did a fabulous job when we reached that part of the course!  Quite a few of them even went above and beyond, programming more than I originally had expected they would in just two sessions.

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Though I have taught Processing before, this was my first time teaching it to students who had previously been learning to programme using Scratch’s visual interface.  As an educator I discovered it was quite easy for students to make connections to concepts they learned in Scratch even if the terminology was sometimes a bit different.  For example, instead of using the event “When Flag Clicked”, Processing uses the method “void setup” to run specific code once upon start up.  These similarities made it much easier to jump into text-based code than if we had started with no prior coding skills.

All the projects from this term are available online.  If students wish to continue working on their games they can either download their projects to their home computer or fork their projects using their personal Scratch account. scratch.mit.edu/studios/1430756.  Processing projects can be found at openprocessing.org/classroom/24944

Recycled Robots at CPAS is now enroling for Term 4 at ratastudios.co.nz/recycled-robots-enrolment

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