Tardis Time EToys

Did anyone else find it difficult and user un-friendly to code with this program? It's like a half step child of BASIC and Scratch. 

    • Alicia Gallagher
      Alicia Gallagher

      I found it very difficult! I tried many different projects that didn't come out great so went with an activity that realistically my K students could use, but honestly I probably wouldn't recommend it for a student younger than 7. 

      • Susan Granata
        Susan Granata

        Exactly, Alicia! I think Scratch is much more user friendly, and it's easier to be able to switch to see the JAVA behind the blocklys in scratch than it is with EToys.

        • Gerald Ardito
          Gerald Ardito

          Susan,

          You did a terrific job with your project.

          I agree with some of your concerns about EToys. It does have a much steeper learning curve than does Scratch. However, it is way more powerful and actually teaches some real computer science, which Scratch doesn't do as well.

          That being said, I am not trying to convince you to use it (although I have seen some great uses of Etoys. See here for example). I simply wanted you to all to have an experience of it.

          • Susan Granata
            Susan Granata

            I think etoys is most frustrating because of the small playing field, which makes working with multiple scripts hard to manage. It also brought back nightmares of trying to control a turtle with BASIC. Having read our course outline for week three, I see the Turtle is back. I'm flashing back to 2nd grade.

            I agree with you that Scratch is very basic, but I do like the introduction it gives the students to step by step coding and problem solving. Also, you can configure scratch to go into Java mode and have each block show the actual Java coding, which is a nice intermediate step that can lead to Java programming courses for the interested students. I have had a few students progress this way from "Hour of Code" weeks to completing the full Java programming courses, and I enjoy watching their coding skills evolve as they develop the brain capacity to absorb Java. 

            Honestly, I find Python to be the easiest to work with considering age level I teach (10 - 13). It has more human-friendly commands, which was what Alan Key really wanted in the first place, isn't it? To make computers accessible and programmable to all, the computer-human translation process has to be user friendly.

            • Gerald Ardito
              Gerald Ardito

              Alicia,

              I agree that it would be very difficult to use Etoys with children under 7. It can be too abstract.

              • Gerald Ardito
                Gerald Ardito

                Susan,

                I appreciate your comments as well. Although, I have worked with 5th and 6th graders who dramatically preferred Etoys to Scratch. They loved that you started by drawing something and then making that drawing come to life.

                 

                • Susan Granata
                  Susan Granata

                  Gerald,

                  I can see how that would be a much more fun process - creating your drawings and animating them is a very cool feature. Wouldn't it be neat if we could merge the drawing and animation palette of etoys with the coding possibilities (and larger screen) of turtle?

                  • Gerald Ardito
                    Gerald Ardito

                    Susan,
                    That would be great.

                  Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2018

                  Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2018

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