An interesting experiment in a development tool for teaching Java programming. Aimed at Pre-University students and teachers it is similar in to Squeak and Logo in that it aims to “grab” interest by geting kids to program game-like simulations. Still, it’s Java under the Skin which makes it more immediately transferrable to Further and Higher Education where Java is commonly used as a first language in computing and engineering courses. The lead developer has just started an on-line open tutorial which can be found at http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/mik/category/joy-of-code/. From the ‘About’ page: “Greenfoot teaches object orientation with Java. Create ‘actors’ which live in ‘worlds’ to build games, simulations, and other graphical programs. “Greenfoot is visual and interactive. Visualisation and interaction tools are built into the environment. “The actors are programmed in standard textual Java code, providing a combination of programming experience in a traditional text-based language with visual execution.”
I will be following this with interest: “Want to find out how to write a computer game? Interested in learning programming? Curious about object-oriented programming and Java? Heard about Greenfoot, but don’t really know what it is? Teaching programming to others?” Not because I need to lean Java, but because coding has dropped out of favour in ICT at schools and several people have recently asked for it to be added back.