24 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

Two thoughts: I'd start with telling them why you think it's worth their time. Whatever I or anyone else says on here, you're the one who thought it would be fun and worthwhile, and you must have ...
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14 votes
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What can Snap! do that Scratch cannot?

The analogy is far from perfect, but Snap! is to Scratch as Mycroft is to Sherlock. For me, the big advantage for Snap! is its provision of custom functions rather than just the custom blocks that ...
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  • 1,256
13 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

Everyone uses high-level languages these days, and we let compilers do the grunt work. Block-based programming is just a kind of IDE with a slightly different autocomplete mechanism. Block-based ...
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11 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

You could use some environment that lets you switch between blocks and text and work in both. That way, students can see firsthand that the code in the blocks converts to textual "real" code. This can ...
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11 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

Here's how I explained it to my students after teaching with App Inventor during a pre-college summer program: With textual programming languages, your program won't work if you have a semicolon or ...
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11 votes

Looking for a block-based programming language for AP CS P

You will probably want to look into Snap!. It was built upon Scratch and would probably meet your needs. This is from its About page: Snap! (formerly BYOB) is a visual, drag-and-drop programming ...
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  • 9,032
10 votes

How do I scaffold students toward building meaningful projects?

For context, I teach high school students as part of a 4-year high school computer science major. My students do, during their 4th year, a full-year project for a client who has a need. (The clients ...
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9 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

I was at this camp one summer, and it was a programming camp for building models of different systems. I was super excited - I'd already been programming on Khan Academy and Codecademy. So I walk in, ...
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  • 4,684
9 votes

What can Snap! do that Scratch cannot?

The middle column is Snap!. In Snap! you can create your own C-shaped blocks, as well as functions (see range block), this is in addition to the procedures that can be done in scratch. Note: I ...
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7 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

Here I would go to Microsoft's Project Spark (even though it is discontinued, I think it is still downloadable. I have a local copy, so I'm not sure. But it's worth a shot) Project spark is Microsoft'...
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  • 6,227
6 votes

Colors in Blocks-based Languages

Students use the colors for more than just interpreting the purpose of the block. In my introductory classes, the color assists early-learners with locating the blocks within an extensive collection ...
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6 votes

What can Snap! do that Scratch cannot?

The biggest features Snap! has that Scratch doesn't are first-class EVERYTHING and functions. Scratch only lets you create custom command blocks, not reporter or Boolean blocks. This makes Snap! much ...
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5 votes

How do I scaffold students toward building meaningful projects?

I think @Ben I.'s suggestions are great, but let me present a completely different take. Don't prepare them for science fairs, prepare them for industry. Introduce them to git/open source/...
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  • 4,684
5 votes

How do I scaffold students toward building meaningful projects?

Since you said that it is a "high poverty school," I assume that some students may have some financial/material needs... So, you could suggest the development of an app that allows the students to ...
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5 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

It isn't very "fun", but there are visual languages widely used in the industry. For example the FBD language. From Wikipedia: The Function Block Diagram (FBD) is a graphical language for ...
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  • 59
5 votes

Advantages and Disadvantages of Teaching Block-coding Languages Such As MIT's App Inventor?

Student's Opinion Not a definitive answer by any means, but thought that I might add what I have learnt... I am 16, but first got exposed to block-coding at the age of 9. While I continued with ...
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  • 215
5 votes
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Teaching Block-coding Languages Such As MIT's App Inventor?

The main attraction of block-based programming languages is that they expose users to the fun aspects of programming (creativity and design) without requiring them to deal with the less fun aspects (...
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4 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

You used two key words here: "persuade" and "convince." Let's approach this issue from the perspective of the three Aristotelian rhetorical appeals: logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos: Appeal to their ...
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  • 9,032
4 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

Full disclosure: I'm generally not a fan of DnD programming languages in high school (maybe even late middle school) and I think DnD languages are frequently used by stem oil salesmen and used ...
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4 votes

Colors in Blocks-based Languages

The colour of a block is a 'way in' for students, helping them to figure out what type of block they have. Ultimately, the important thing here is that there are logical categories of blocks—the ...
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  • 3,485
4 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

A lot of people are talking about how visual scripting is a higher abstraction, and that's all the difference, and the debate has moved more to a question of "is visual scripting 'real' programming?" ...
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3 votes

How do I scaffold students toward building meaningful projects?

Find a real project (or series of small projects) that your students can do, and build up their skills and resume's together. For example, back in 1988(ish), a high school computer class won a ...
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  • 968
3 votes

How do I convince my students that visual programming is real programming?

First and foremost, don't let your feeling about their feelings affect your judgement. It seems to me that most kids want to learn new things, they want to be 'beta testers' and on the cutting edge. ...
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  • 131
3 votes

Colors in Blocks-based Languages

I, too, was going to form part of my answer around the article Aurora shared on the development of Scratch. Snap! makes its debt to Scratch explicit. In the "About" section, the its creators discuss ...
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  • 9,032
3 votes
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Robotics Recommendations

Take a look at the Edison Programmable V2.0 Robot. (https://www.robotshop.com/en/edison-programmable-v20-robot.html) Available from Amazon. Also Makeblock mBot Robot Kit (Amazon.com) I have read ...
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3 votes

Robotics Recommendations

I'm a big fan of micro:bit and kits that companies build for them. For example, the Tinybit robot from Yahboom. It includes programming activities. I've bought hundreds of these and had good ...
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  • 111
3 votes

Explaining Event-Driven Programming in the context of the Structured Programming Theorem

I don't see that there's anything to explain, because there's no apparent contradiction between a set of language constructs being "all you need", and a language having more constructs than are "...
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  • 519
3 votes

Explaining Event-Driven Programming in the context of the Structured Programming Theorem

You might first begin by explaining how a program begins running. The program is not always running. It simply stored somewhere, but dormant. Some event external to the program causes it to run. ...
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  • 1,113
2 votes

Looking for a block-based programming language for AP CS P

Not strictly block based, but I like Codesters as a nice midway point. It has a DnD interface but the blocks you drop become Python code.
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2 votes

Looking for a block-based programming language for AP CS P

While I definitely recommend Snap!, for completeness sake you might take a look at: Scratch -- though w/o custom functions this may be limiting PencilCode -- a blocks+text environment around ...
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