LCL

[Reflection 2] Thinking about coding


#1

Has your experience with Scratch changed the way you think about coding?
How did you think of coding before? How do you think of it now?

Share your thoughts and discuss with others!

This post is also available in Italiano, Português, Español (Spanish), 日本語 (Japanese), עברית (Hebrew)


#3

I used to think I had to teach all the skill first, but now I know that students can learn the skills they need ( and will be motivated to learn for themselves) in the process of making a project.


#4

This connects to the other discussions in the How do you facilitate Projects thread. Reading your post reminded me of my college, where they decided to not give liberal arts subjects at all and let students jump in labs right away from freshman (where most Japanese colleges make their students experience full 2 years of just doing liberal arts before starting on anything). Now I understand the idea was completely right, but when I was there, I saw many students who were stuck not knowing where to start their exploration in the program. I guess there always needs a balance, which is very interesting part of learning design!


#5

I decided to try another coding platform to do my animation since I have a lot of experience with Scratch. I had 45 minutes to work with. I really wanted to try Bootstrap: Reactive since I’m going to be working with another teacher on that soon, but I couldn’t easily find sample projects to start from. This confirms that the way I learn coding best is to deconstruct an example to learn the commands vs. learning the commands first. It’s why I love Scratch and Thimble so much - the remix culture. I did my animation on another platform I’ve been working with 3rd graders - Bitsbox. They do have lots of examples plus their documentation is clear & concise. I was able to cobble something together by copying in their example code and modifying it for my purpose.


#6

This was the first time I’d tried Scratch. I’ve been meaning to for a while… you know how it is but it was good to have a clearly defined task - with examples.

I can definitely see how this is easier to teach/use/play with children. One of my biggest concerns with trying programming with my son is not the logic of the commands but that he would struggle to read the words. I’m now going to try the animate my name challenge with him and I feel more confident in saying “why don’t we see what this does?” rather than having to “know” the answer before we start.


#7

Getting code to do what I want has always been a matter of trying different configurations of commands and seeing what the output turns into. For most coding tasks I start with example code. I try to avoid programming at work (this is increasingly difficult), so usually my coding projects are proof of concept, built using whatever language and code pieces I happen to scrounge up. This has always been enough to meet my needs. Programming for me has rarely been an exercise in creativity (though I did spend a summer or three writing robot scripts for an MMO emulator), and more typically has been a way to accomplish some goal.

In this case I did not start with a code example. Scratch is easy enough to pick up without needing to bother with syntax or formatting, which is often why I start with example code. I liked that I was able to incorporate elements of flow control with little consideration for syntax. I guess this exercise has brought me to consider that at its root, programming is a creative process. My knowledge of different programming languages lacks depth, which means that my projects are typically mechanistic, rather than creative. It strikes me as a good idea to pick up a language that I can learn with sufficient depth to be creative and play with. Perhaps Scratch is also a good prototyping tool?


#8

Well. I have a son that is going to begin his second year of Mechanics and is going to take Coding. I cant convince him that he can begin learning with scrath, before the semester begins. Give me some arguments!!!

Well maybe I have to take ideas from Mitchel’s video. …


#9

Hi everyone,

I just finished my name project.
Scratch is a lot easier to use for sure and it is more fun:slight_smile:
It feels like you don’t deal with any coding though you do.
It is great for kids and 29 year old learners like me:smiley:


#10

Programação sempre será o futuro mais recente! Percebi que em uma meta linguagem fica mais accessível para pensar em soluções


#11

I’m a college student studying computer science, so I knew how to code going into using Scratch. However, most of my coding experience has been doing class projects and solving programming questions as interview prep. Even the personal projects I’ve done have been with the mindset of making something that will look good to recruiters. This was one of the first times I’ve made something creative just for fun. By using Scratch, I feel like I’ve gained a new perspective on programming that will help motivate me to work on projects that are more creative and express my personality.


#12

Prior to Scratch I would engage with coding projects that left me feeling flat. Even highly creative workshops (that focused on HTML and other languages) would be so dry that I would just get visually tired of the characters/lines of code on the screen. Even if the code made my robot move or my art project come to life, there was a disconnect. When I coded my first Scratch project, I knew that I wanted to bring more people into the work and world of Scratch. The colors, the options, the possibilities kept me engaged and interested in learning more.


#13

The first time I used Scratch, I had taken an intro to CS course (which I was COMPLETELY baffled by) and played around with HTML/CSS in middle + high school. It was interesting but I was not intrigued to poke around to its edges because I was not that comfortable with computing yet. I was also already 19 and it looked so infantile that I thought there wasn’t much to it and there wasn’t much you could do with it.

I know now that there’s a LOT you can do with it, and it was a much more pleasant experience to revisit it after learning much more programming. But since Scratch is ideally used as an introduction to computing concepts, it’s interesting to think back to how I first felt. Every block in the language is right there in front of you, so you know there aren’t an endless number of them, yet it’s still a bit weird to get started. It’s not intuitive to know what to try first, but I suppose the site guides you to simple projects you can edit.


#14

What’s Bootstrap: Reactive? Do you have a link?


#15

Bootstrap is a curriculum using computational modeling to reinforce concepts from mainstream subjects like Computational modeling in Algebra, Physics & Data Science. Reactive brings in more game design elements. More @ http://www.bootstrapworld.org/materials/spring2017/courses/reactive.


#16

Previously, I thought to learn to program involved pouring over lines of code for hours to see a functional output. Using Scratch made coding fun with a quick feedback loop for learning as you go. I could try different scripts and see an immediate result on the stage which accelerated my understanding. Rather than learn to code with letters and numbers, the variety of sprites, scenes, and scripts were visual elements with a potential energy I could use to accomplish a tangible goal. I could communicate with someone and share it right away. In this format, I could code (right away) to learn something immediately useful: communicate ideas in a new engaging way.


#17

Sounds very cool! It does seem like it has elements of the old CD-ROMs from the 90s (which I grew up on!) that gave you normal math problems but stuck them in a fun/cartoon-y world, but combined with more agency since they’re building things.


#18

Definitely, my experience with Scratch is that it has revolutionized the concept of code programming. The methods are the paths towards the learning of science. Today, I think that all learning methods must be transformed into the good of society.


#19

Before using Scratch I thought that coding was a lot more difficult than it really was. I didn’t think coding was something I could do in ~5 minutes! This would definitely be something easy to bring into the classroom as a project with my students.


#20

The blocks are great. When I learned coding, I would constantly imagine blocks of code. Scratch makes this explicit and the process cleaner.

I do wonder whether coding will be the best way to program in the future. The abstraction that text presents does not serve many creative processes.

On different modes of programming:



#21

I like coding, I have for a long time. The syntax though tends to get in the way for me, but I appreciate the science and art behind the language of it all.

Been using different tools with my son over the past 3 years (since he was 3) to appreciate how you can make things happen that at first don’t appear intuitive, but then something happens that they don’t expect, and eureka, start to play with coding in many forms.