Learning, Interrupted

One of my goals for this summer was to learn to become more proficient with the Python Programming Language.  It’s going along; lots of interruptions to stop the continuous flow of learning but I get back on track and continue the learning periodically.

This morning, after a walk through the Exhibit Hall at the Computer Science Teachers Association conference, I may have found a new interruption.  Or, at the least, a diversion.  At the most, a new way to do things.

I was wandering around, greeting the exhibitors, and stopped at the Codesters Booth.  My trip around the hall got halted.  First, we got buzzed by some big flying insect but then got down to the Codester application itself.  So many people are familiar with the drag and drop interface of a Scratch, Hopscotch, or TouchDevelop programming language.

This time, it’s for Python.  But with a twist.

Whaaa?

On the right side of the screen, you’ll see the familiar Python interface.  The code, the syntax, the punctuation …

But look closely at the top left of the screen.  You’ll see blocks of programming activities. 

To create your own Python program, it’s just a matter of dragging the blogs to the program window area and Codesters takes over.

Part of the frustration of a traditional text programming language is getting the syntax right.

Part of the frustration of a traditional block programming language is that you’re limited to being able to do what the block comes pre-defined to do.

Here, you have the best of both worlds.  You could sit down and start typing/coding or you can drag and drop a block into place.  If you don’t like what it does immediately, just go to the Python editor and make your own customization.

It’s a very interesting approach.

You register as either a student or teacher and you’re working within their own LMS.  The LMS comes with some modules already created for the intermediate mathematics classroom.  In the best sense of social sharing, there is a projects area where completed projects are shared by others.

If you’re interested in learning about Python or working with students, this is worth a look.

 

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