April 1st – Blockly

Back on March 28th I discussed GitHub as a file repository and called it industry standard to use – well one of the biggest in the industry has a GitHub you can look at: Google!  Google does a lot for education, from GAFE (Google Apps for Education) to the CS First (will talk about later) but also a lot of projects and educational products have come from the 20% model and Blockly is one of them.

April 1st – Blockly

Blockly is an online javascript based programming language that you can load into a page, or simply download to use offline (which I’d suggest first to get used to it).  It takes a page from the block based language that MIT Labs created in Scratch, but gives some extra features to make it a little more authentic for a “coding language”.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 12.41.46 PM
Blockly open locally on offline downloaded version

Blockly offline has a series of 7 games (see above) that introduce the language to the user. After most games it shows you what the language would be in other languages so you can make connections moving forward.  You can find the Blockly GitHub download here and once downloaded open the zip file and then index.html to start.  Personally I feel exposing students to as many different block languages is important because it allows them to understand concepts on different levels rather than just Scratch.

This can be a great extension and is used with Code.org’s “Hour of Code” activities which can be found here (Star Wars, Mindcraft, Frozen).



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