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CSTA2015 Blocks-based Programming: Toolboxes for Many Occasions

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An overview of 4 blocks-based programming environments from MIT's Center for Mobile Learning, specifically GameBlox, TaleBlazer, and StarLogo Nova from the Scheller Teacher Education Program & Education Arcade and MIT App Inventor from the eponymous group.

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CSTA2015 Blocks-based Programming: Toolboxes for Many Occasions

  1. 1. Blocks-based Programming: Toolboxes for Many Occasions Josh Sheldon & Paul Medlock-Walton @MITStepLab, @GameBloxDev, @MITAppInventor, @joshsheldon
  2. 2. Today’s Roadmap • Introduction • StarLogo Nova • TaleBlazer • GameBlox • MIT App Inventor • Wrap & Questions
  3. 3. ONE  EARLY  ANCESTOR,   MANY  NICHES  TODAY   —  From BLOX (Glinert, 1986) —  To Today, July 2015 —  Scratch —  Alice —  Greenfoot —  Pencil Code —  App Lab —  App Inventor, TaleBlazer, StarLogo Nova, GameBlox —  and, many more… "Simplified tree" by Madprime - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Simplified_tree.png#/media/File:Simplified_tree.png
  4. 4. HOW  WE  WILL  EXPLORE     EACH  EXAMPLE   —  Overview —  Niche(s) —  Demonstration: Use, Modify, Create (Leave creating to you) —  Notable CS Affordances —  Resources Lee et al., (2011). Computational Thinking for Youth in Practice. ACM Inroads.
  5. 5. Today’s Roadmap • Introduction • StarLogo Nova • TaleBlazer • GameBlox • MIT App Inventor • Wrap & Questions
  6. 6. StarLogo  Nova:   Overview   —  Notable Features —  Agent Based Scripting —  3-D World —  Investigation of Scientific Models —  History —  Descendant of Logo, StarLogo versions —  Went “live” circa 2014
  7. 7. StarLogo  Nova:   Niches   —  Agent-based modeling —  Multiple breeds —  Each breed can have scripts —  Each individual of a breed runs scripts independently —  3-D Game creation —  EASY —  Motivating —  For everyone?
  8. 8. StarLogo  Nova:   Demo  -­‐  EPIDEMIC!!!  
  9. 9. StarLogo  Nova:   Notable  CS  Affordances   —  Some Object Oriented Principles —  Parallel execution —  Abstraction (procedures) —  Event driven programming
  10. 10. StarLogo  Nova:   Resources   —  IPWIT: ~15 Hours of Instruction —  Resources: —  http://www.slnova.org/resources/ipwit-2014/ —  http://www.slnova.org/resources/skill-cards/ —  PD: https://ipwit2015.eventbrite.com (PD: 1-day intro) —  Project GUTS —  Resources: http://www.projectguts.org/ —  PD: https://goo.gl/mHcGvO —  Imagination Toolbox —  PD: https://it2015.eventbrite.com (One-week, in-depth)
  11. 11. Today’s Roadmap • Introduction • StarLogo Nova • TaleBlazer • GameBlox • MIT App Inventor • Wrap & Questions
  12. 12. CSTA  2015       TaleBlazer:   Engaging  Youth  in  Computa/onal   Thinking,  Crea/ve  Design  &   Community  through     Authoring  Loca/on-­‐Based   Augmented  Reality  Games  
  13. 13. How  do  we  cra*  powerful  experiences  in  real  places?   How  do  these  experiences  foster  deep  learning?   How  do  you  author  these  types  of  games?   Photo:  PolarBearsInterna/onal.org   Photo:  Red  BuGe  Botanical  Garden  
  14. 14. One  approach  loca:on-­‐based   educa:on…augmented  reality  (AR)   “Loca/on-­‐aware  digital  overlay  of   informa/on  in  a  real-­‐world  context”     Learning/   Content   Games/   Sims   Real   World   Context   Typically  played  on   smart  phone  or   other  mobile   computer  (GPS)  in   large-­‐scale  real   world  loca:on  
  15. 15. TaleBlazer’s  Two  Goals   PLAY  GAMES   •  Games  are  played  by  visitors/users/students   •  Goals  are  to  learn  content,  explore  a  physical   space,  foster  collabora:on   –  E.g.,  Field  trip  to  Zoo,  visitors  to  living  history  museum   MAKE  GAMES   •  Users  design  and  implement  AR  games   •  Learn  design  process,  coding,  content   –  Currently  in  several  a*er-­‐school/summer  programs  
  16. 16. Two  examples:  Youth  Making  Games   •  iCSI  –  STEM  themed   •  Haunts  –  local  history    
  17. 17. iCSI     Informal  Community  Science  Inves:gators   3-­‐year  NSF  funded  partnership  between:  Missouri   Botanical  Garden;  MIT;  Columbus  Zoo  (OH),  San  Diego   Zoo,  Red  Bu_e  Botanical  Gardens  (UT)   1.  Engage  informal  visitors  playing  AR  games   2.  Tweens/teens  making  AR  games  (summer  camps)   –  Leverage  AR  games  to  promote  STEM  knowledge/ engagement  (including  technology  design/authoring),   showcase  research,  foster  community  engagement   (ci:zen  science),  develop  21st  cent.  skills.   >>  Successful  camps,  looking  to  extend  model.<<   Funded  by  NSF  ISE  Grant  #  1223407  
  18. 18. The  Paths  of  the  Forgo_en:     Ghosts  of  Drake  Park  
  19. 19. Haunts:  Urban  Youth     Making  Local  Games  
  20. 20. Demonstration
  21. 21. Successes  &  Challenges   •  High  engagement   •  Youth  ownership   •  Non-­‐tradi:onal  CS  on-­‐ ramp   •  Collabora:ve   •  Engages  community   •  Interdisciplinary   –  Lots  of  try   •  New  genre   •  Non-­‐trivial  on-­‐ramp   •  Mobile  tech  not  100%   ubiquitous   •  Outdoors  (indoor   coming  soon!)   •  Interdisciplinary   –  Lots  of  juggle  
  22. 22. Thanks!   Judy  Perry,  MIT  STEP  Lab  <jperry@mit.edu>   h_p://TaleBlazer.org   h_p://educa:on.mit.edu   •  Many  thanks  to  Eric  Klopfer  (Director,  MIT  STEP  Lab),  Lisa  Stump    &  the   TaleBlazer  development  team  (MIT),  Josh  Sheldon  (MIT/STEP);  Renata   Pomponi  &  Drew  Buckley  (Mass  Audubon);  Rhys  Simmons  and  his  team   (OSV);  Columbus  Zoo  &  Aquarium   •  Funded  in  part  by  NSF  Grants  #  0833663,  #1223407;  and  the  Columbus   Zoo  &  Aquarium.  
  23. 23. Today’s Roadmap • Introduction • StarLogo Nova • TaleBlazer • GameBlox • MIT App Inventor • Wrap & Questions
  24. 24. A block language for designing games https://gameblox.org Paul Medl0ck-Walton paulmw@mit.edu
  25. 25. edX courses
  26. 26. Features for making games •  Physics engine ▫  Gravity, velocity, collision detection •  Program behavior for classes •  Count up and down timers •  Multiple stages •  Camera view
  27. 27. Demo
  28. 28. CS Affordances •  Components used as variables •  Type checking •  Typed and multi-dimensional lists •  Dynamic creation of components •  Data tables •  Threading •  Event driven
  29. 29. Resources •  Tutorials with videos and pictures
  30. 30. Resources •  Tutorials with videos and pictures
  31. 31. A block language for designing games https://gameblox.org Paul Medl0ck-Walton paulmw@mit.edu
  32. 32. Today’s Roadmap • Introduction • StarLogo Nova • TaleBlazer • GameBlox • MIT App Inventor • Wrap & Questions
  33. 33. MIT  App  Inventor:   Overview   —  Notable Features —  Create native Android Apps —  Use device affordances —  Share with others —  Gallery – Remix (NEW) —  History —  V1 (Classic) Started at Google in 2008-2009 —  Moved to MIT in 2011-12 —  V2 went live Dec. 2013
  34. 34. MIT  App  Inventor:   Niches   —  Mobile App Creation —  For the real devices of 21st Century —  Take advantage of device affordances —  Each individual of a breed runs scripts independently —  Authentic System Deployment —  Can query against online APIs and Fusion tables —  Motivating —  For everyone
  35. 35. MIT  App  Inventor:   Demo  -­‐  My  Baby  (really)  
  36. 36. MIT  App  Inventor:     Notable  CS  Affordances   —  Event driven Programming —  High level abstracted components —  Components have features of OOP
  37. 37. MIT  App  Inventor:   Resources   —  AppInventor.org —  http://appinventor.org/ —  Educators Community (Contribute your resources) —  http://educators.appinventor.mit.edu/ —  Resource Sheet —  PD: —  EdX - Mobile Computing with App Inventor – CS Principles (Oct ‘15) —  Mobile CSP - http://mobile-csp.org/participate
  38. 38. Today’s Roadmap • Introduction • StarLogo Nova • TaleBlazer • GameBlox • MIT App Inventor • Wrap & Questions
  39. 39. VL/HCC  2015  workshop  in  Atlanta,  GA     on  Thu.,  Oct.  22,  2015     Blocks  and  Beyond:  Lessons  and  DirecQons   for  First  Programming  Environments   h_p://cs.wellesley.edu/~blocks-­‐and-­‐beyond/     Submission  Deadline:  July  24!!!   Blocks and Beyond Workshop
  40. 40. Blocks-based Programming: Toolboxes for Many Occasions Josh Sheldon & Paul Medlock-Walton @MITStepLab, @GameBloxDev, @MITAppInventor, @joshsheldon

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