Learning the basics of programming requires students to understand the basics of logic programming. Some of these concepts include:
- If – Then – Else
- Do While / Loop
Also, traditionally, when someone learns to program, they have to learn a language that includes all the words, the syntax, the structure, etc. This can be a daunting task and may take some time to learn.
The benefit of visual and block programming is that it simplifies complexity and makes it easy to learn the basics of programming logic and code creation. The interface is more like a game and it will be easier for younger students to learn and enjoy working with it.
One of the best features of Scratch is that it allows students to easily use graphics, also known as “sprites or objects”, and easily manipulate them. This makes it easy for kids to create programming that includes fun graphics, motion, and they can easily add sounds as well. This helps keep kids interested while learning programming basics.
The Scratch user interface has three main sections: the stage area, the block palette, and a coding area. The coding area allows the user to place and organize the programming blocks into logical scripts. These scripts can be executed by pressing a green flag or also by clicking on the code blocks.
As students get more advanced in using Scratch, they can also create their own blocks of code. This begins the process of the student learning how to build “functions” or sets of code that they can organize for specific purposes and reuse in programs. This is a key concept to identify if students wish to continue with more formal programming.
There are endless possibilities for what students can build in Scratch. The Scratch community offers many examples and tutorials for students who want to continue learning and developing their skills. As part of our programming course, students learn to build a complete game that is a lot of fun to play and learn to code.