Always be learning – I think it’s a great motto for survival in this day and age.
So, I’m working through my list of things to learn more about from the recently concluded Bring IT, Together conference.
I thought I knew of all the block programming languages. After all, I’ve worked my way through Alfred Thompson’s big list.
But I picked up on a new language during Sylvia Martinez’ keynote address. It’s called BeetleBlocks. It’s another language that builds on the promise of the original Logo concept. Among all the things that you can do is drive an object around the screen. You start, as typical, with a blank screen.
What’s new with this picture?
All of the other tools that I have worked with previously have had an X and Y plane. Notice in this case, there’s also a Z. Yep, we’re now talking programming in three dimensions.
If you’ve used Scratch (or similar languages), you already have a valuable set of skills. Now, just extend them!
I dragged a few blocks out onto the desktop and started poking around. I was excited now.
What can people who know what they’re doing do? Fortunately, the resource comes with plenty of examples and I’m speed learning by going through the examples provided and modifying them to see what happens.
If you’re a Scratch programmer, you’re right at home.
Since the results are in three dimensions, it only makes sense that you can provide different views for the results. In particular, the wireframe really showed me what was happening.
This project, currently in Alpha stage, and only supported on the Google Chrome platform (although it seemed to work fine in Firefox) is a very worthy addition to your set of tools for programming.
It seems to be the logical next step for students who are proficient in Scratch programming and are looking for more inspiration.
I hope that the product continues to mature and, who knows? We may be talking about this as the Hour of Code approaches.