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Blocks-based
Programming:
Toolboxes for Many
Occasions
Josh Sheldon & Paul Medlock-Walton
@MITStepLab, @GameBloxDev, @MITAppInventor, @joshsheldon
Today’s Roadmap
• Introduction
• StarLogo Nova
• TaleBlazer
• GameBlox
• MIT App Inventor
• Wrap & Questions
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
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.
Today’s Roadmap
• Introduction
• StarLogo Nova
• TaleBlazer
• GameBlox
• MIT App Inventor
• Wrap & Questions
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
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?
StarLogo	
  Nova:	
  
Demo	
  -­‐	
  EPIDEMIC!!!	
  
StarLogo	
  Nova:	
  
Notable	
  CS	
  Affordances	
  
—  Some Object Oriented Principles
—  Parallel execution
—  Abstraction (procedures)
—  Event driven programming
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)
Today’s Roadmap
• Introduction
• StarLogo Nova
• TaleBlazer
• GameBlox
• MIT App Inventor
• Wrap & Questions
CSTA	
  2015	
  	
  	
  
TaleBlazer:	
  
Engaging	
  Youth	
  in	
  Computa/onal	
  
Thinking,	
  Crea/ve	
  Design	
  &	
  
Community	
  through	
  	
  
Authoring	
  Loca/on-­‐Based	
  
Augmented	
  Reality	
  Games	
  
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	
  
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	
  
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	
  
Two	
  examples:	
  Youth	
  Making	
  Games	
  
•  iCSI	
  –	
  STEM	
  themed	
   •  Haunts	
  –	
  local	
  history	
  
	
  
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	
  
The	
  Paths	
  of	
  the	
  Forgo_en:	
  	
  
Ghosts	
  of	
  Drake	
  Park	
  
Haunts:	
  Urban	
  Youth	
  	
  
Making	
  Local	
  Games	
  
Demonstration
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	
  
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.	
  
Today’s Roadmap
• Introduction
• StarLogo Nova
• TaleBlazer
• GameBlox
• MIT App Inventor
• Wrap & Questions
A block language for designing
games
https://gameblox.org
Paul Medl0ck-Walton
paulmw@mit.edu
edX courses
Features for making games
•  Physics engine
▫  Gravity, velocity, collision detection
•  Program behavior for classes
•  Count up and down timers
•  Multiple stages
•  Camera view
Demo
CS Affordances
•  Components used as variables
•  Type checking
•  Typed and multi-dimensional lists
•  Dynamic creation of components
•  Data tables
•  Threading
•  Event driven
Resources
•  Tutorials with videos and pictures
Resources
•  Tutorials with videos and pictures
A block language for designing
games
https://gameblox.org
Paul Medl0ck-Walton
paulmw@mit.edu
Today’s Roadmap
• Introduction
• StarLogo Nova
• TaleBlazer
• GameBlox
• MIT App Inventor
• Wrap & Questions
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
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
MIT	
  App	
  Inventor:	
  
Demo	
  -­‐	
  My	
  Baby	
  (really)	
  
MIT	
  App	
  Inventor:	
  	
  
Notable	
  CS	
  Affordances	
  
—  Event driven Programming
—  High level abstracted components
—  Components have features of OOP
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
Today’s Roadmap
• Introduction
• StarLogo Nova
• TaleBlazer
• GameBlox
• MIT App Inventor
• Wrap & Questions
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
Blocks-based
Programming:
Toolboxes for Many
Occasions
Josh Sheldon & Paul Medlock-Walton
@MITStepLab, @GameBloxDev, @MITAppInventor, @joshsheldon

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Blocks-Based Programming Tools for Teaching Computational Thinking

  • 1. Blocks-based Programming: Toolboxes for Many Occasions Josh Sheldon & Paul Medlock-Walton @MITStepLab, @GameBloxDev, @MITAppInventor, @joshsheldon
  • 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. 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.
  • 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. 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. StarLogo  Nova:   Demo  -­‐  EPIDEMIC!!!  
  • 9. StarLogo  Nova:   Notable  CS  Affordances   —  Some Object Oriented Principles —  Parallel execution —  Abstraction (procedures) —  Event driven programming
  • 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)
  • 12. CSTA  2015       TaleBlazer:   Engaging  Youth  in  Computa/onal   Thinking,  Crea/ve  Design  &   Community  through     Authoring  Loca/on-­‐Based   Augmented  Reality  Games  
  • 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. 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. 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. Two  examples:  Youth  Making  Games   •  iCSI  –  STEM  themed   •  Haunts  –  local  history    
  • 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. The  Paths  of  the  Forgo_en:     Ghosts  of  Drake  Park  
  • 19. Haunts:  Urban  Youth     Making  Local  Games  
  • 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. 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.  
  • 24. A block language for designing games https://gameblox.org Paul Medl0ck-Walton paulmw@mit.edu
  • 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. Demo
  • 28. CS Affordances •  Components used as variables •  Type checking •  Typed and multi-dimensional lists •  Dynamic creation of components •  Data tables •  Threading •  Event driven
  • 29. Resources •  Tutorials with videos and pictures
  • 30. Resources •  Tutorials with videos and pictures
  • 31. A block language for designing games https://gameblox.org Paul Medl0ck-Walton paulmw@mit.edu
  • 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. 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. MIT  App  Inventor:   Demo  -­‐  My  Baby  (really)  
  • 36. MIT  App  Inventor:     Notable  CS  Affordances   —  Event driven Programming —  High level abstracted components —  Components have features of OOP
  • 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
  • 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. Blocks-based Programming: Toolboxes for Many Occasions Josh Sheldon & Paul Medlock-Walton @MITStepLab, @GameBloxDev, @MITAppInventor, @joshsheldon