Beaten to the punch by MIT on this one: Scratch. It does most of what I had in my first Design and Education project, which itself was a proposal to extend MIT's Logo Blocks into a more general-purpose multimedia programming application. Admittedly, mine was more of a game than a toolbox, and had a specific narrative structure in mind, but as far as using graphical means for exploring programming goals, Scratch does a really amazing job.
I'd like to spend a few days with this and try to work past the visual bling to get into it as a teaching tool. But I'm encouraged by it and I'd like to see how well it could be used for intro programming classes like CDT Bootcamp.
Design a lecture or instructional piece for something missing from the MFADT curriculum.
For my game, I originally modified Apples to Apples to work with animals and their behaviors and habitats. The very first play test of this occurred in class, with four of my classmates playing. As much fun as the original game was, though, play was slow and the learning features were a little clunky--recording the animals and their traits clogged up the game play.
The game I came up with after that, based on suggestions from that class, was more like dominoes, specifically the "Mexican Train" variation. The twist I put on it was faithful to my original educational goal of teaching kids about the lives and homes of animals. Each domino had a name and picture of an animal, and a set of four icons that depicted that animal's identity. The icons represented:
So, I'm thinking about adapting Apples to Apples as an educational game. I'm jotting down a couple ideas I've had so far.
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