Virtual Class Discussion: Scratchjr, Please?

Considering how far behind we are in working through the Scratch 2.0 tutorials perhaps we should switch to Scratch Jr. intended for kids 5-7. LOL! Here’s a link to an online post about the new Mitch Resnick project:

http://boingboing.net/2014/03/17/kickstarting-scratchjr-scratc.html

For our virtual class discussion, please explain as a comment on this post:

What has been the most difficult aspect of programming with Scratch 2.0? Or how has Resnick’s ideas in the StarLogo book changed in relation to Scratch 2.0?

Please post your initial comment by Thursday March 20 and then comment on two different comments from your classmates by Sunday evening March 23.

Don’t forget to submit your midterm writeup.

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43 comments

  1. For me, the most challenging part of the Scratch program was not the actual coding itself, but the fact that you had to code for the different sprites. It took me a few times to realize that I couldn’t just write all the codes under the first sprite I made; I actually had to code the sprites separately in order for the game to work, haha. Now that I’ve realized this, it has made the process that much easier!

    1. I had the same challenge! I had a hard time following through the instructions because I wasn’t sure if I had to do coding for just one sprite or coding for each sprite…that was confusing. Definitely had to do several trials to figure out that I had to do coding for different sprites instead of doing all the coding in one sprite.

    2. I have also encountered this problem too. I can do the coding part but I think the problem for me was saving the different sprites and one time I lost one of them. I learned how to save my sprites and my projects.

    3. In response to Audrey Chase, the codes for the different sprites was also challenging. I thought I would be able to write all of my codes under one sprite until my sprite started freaking out! Then I observed that I needed to create more than one sprite for the character’s different actions. This simple correction made coding much easier.

  2. For me, the most challenging part of using Scratch is figuring out how to fix different bugs.It is also challenging to code sprites that are missing files from the computer. It is difficult for me to think outside the box and figure out how to complete the coding outside of the books explicit directions.

    1. Whenever I hit bugs I found it was because I didn’t read the book closely enough. I can’t recall any instances when the directions were incomplete… What parts were you thinking of?

    2. Hayley,

      I am not sure if you mean this but I noticed in one of the stages (I think It was stage 3 I believe) said that we need to pull up the sprite called Rata (it was the character that looked like a bird) but I was not able to find that sprite. And since the sprite was not there, I had to use an “alternative” sprite. Since this is the first coding class that I have ever taken, its really nice how the book shows us how to code step by step yet it can be a little confusing if we do not have what the book is telling us to have.

  3. The challenge that I have came across with Scratch was the Mona Lisa picture. I was not sure how to figure out how to split it into four different parts. After one of my classmates helped me out, all it took was a simple action: take the photo and crop the four different sides and take a picture of each one. Also, what I am about to say is not a huge challenge, but I would like to point out that, for example, in the instructions, they would say that to select Rata (one of the sprites in stage 3) and Rata does not appear on my sprite library. I am not sure if anyone experienced this, but sometimes I find it that it is the little things.

    1. I would agree that the images costumes and images initially served to be a problem for me. However, when I realized they were inconsequential to the overall function of the program, I began to ignore details like Scratchy not really wearing a space suit in Stage 2.

      But I agree–the Mona Lisa picture was part of the program that we had to create on our own that took longer than it should have, considering the book assumes that we already have access to those sprites.

      For me, costume creation is what takes longer than it should, much more than programming the scripts.

      1. In response to Robby Tabor, I agree that finding the character’s costume or background can be time pretty time consuming. In the second section of scratch, my partner and I spent a significant amount of timing looking for the astronaut costume just to find out it was not saved in the program. We then drew on a customized costume, nothing fancy, just a simply shirt and astronaut helmet. I would not spend too much time in this area, I would rather spend more time working on the script.

    2. I definitely agree that the backgrounds and costumes can be a challenge. It is especially frustrating when the book shows the image you are supposed to create and it isn’t in your backgrounds or costume library.

    3. I experienced the same challenge of not having certain characters or backgrounds or anything they ask you to find in my library. I decided to just go on the web and copy, crop, and paste an image that is close to what they are asking and upload it to my computer and use that instead…not sure if I was allowed to do that.

  4. I don’t think that it’s a matter of Scratch 2.0 being difficult. It’s a very friendly, intuitive interface, and literally all of the instructions needed to complete the programs are in the book that we use. But just because it is easy doesn’t mean that it takes a short amount of time. the closest example I can think of is a word search or building a LEGO model. All are very simple, and as long as the instructions are followed, none are complex.

    But they still take time.

    1. I have to agree with Robby this. Though very focused on details (and thank goodness for color-coating) it was easy enough to follow along, but it did take so much time. I thought I would be able to do stage 4, the Mona Lisa one, within an hour time frame, but it took me almost twice as long, trying to import pictures in just the right way that was portrayed in the book.

  5. For me the most challenging part as been to coordinate the different timings of all of the different sprites. I think a component that makes it hard for us is that we don’t have the downloaded add-ons for tasks such as the Mona Lisa in the previous lesson. I agree with Robby that the tasks are not difficult, but rather they are tedious and without the necessary material, it makes it frustrating. I do think that Scratch is a good introductory tool for coding. It resembles the command language format.

    1. I agree that the timing of the sprites is challenging. It is also hard because I feel like the book leaves steps out sometimes and we are expected to be able to figure them out.

      1. By the book, not so much by me. If there are steps that are too difficult then we should do work arounds. Let’s work through some of those next class session.

  6. The most difficult aspect of programming with Scratch 2.0 was not being able to follow through on everything Scratch was asking for such as the space suite, the backgrounds, and other files that I was not sure where to find or couldn’t find (it tells me to search my computer for the files but that doesn’t make sense since I didn’t download anything Scratch related). Also, I am not used to the way the Scratch book is formatted. I get confused on what I do next. It’s not really in a step by step format that I am used to.

    1. Yes, I was confused for the longest times because some costumes were not available or mislabeled. For example, I chose not to use Scratchy as a sprite, so I used an elephant, but it was labeled “penguin-1” and when I had a sprite of a lightning bolt, it was labeled something completely different. I tried to rename them, but that would not fly. So I had to be more detail focused than usual.

    2. I agree, this was pretty frustrating at times and I felt like I couldn’t do everything like I wanted because of all these missing files and programs. I also felt like I was missing a lot of cool things because of that.

  7. For me, one challenging part of the Scratch program was figuring out how to code for different sprites. I got a bit tripped up on that. Also the instructions in the book seemed to be incomplete at times, which made it tricky.

    1. I think what the problem was for everyone was that it says we need to download a zip file with all of this extra content, however it doesn’t tell us where to download it from. I feel this is what made it feel incomplete.

    2. Again, I agree with you on this. It did seemed like the instructions were not complete or were tailor towards expanding our knowledge of the actual concepts and theories behind it. Honestly, this is my first time doing something like this and I would have really enjoyed doing something because I understand it, instead of doing it because I’m copying it. But it has helped me with putting things together and such.

  8. I think the most difficult aspect of programming with Scratch 2.0, for me, has been trying to understand the objective of each stage. I understand in the beginning an idea of what t’s going to look like, but more explanation of what it will be able to do would be helpful. Also, the novelty of creating a sprite and background was really fun in the beginning that when we got to the directions portion of the programming, I was still focused on how my sprite should look like. And if you miss one detail, then the rest of your program does not turn out any good. A clearer designation that each stage should be a different project would be helpful too. I learned that the had way by combing stage 1 and 2.

    1. You make a really good point about missing a detail. It’s hard to have a project and maybe miss a step and the whole thing gets screwed up. At the same time, I think having to go back through the sprites and programs and find your mistake helps me learn more about Scratch and find some new things and understand programming more.

  9. So far, the most challenging part of scratch for me has been working through the glitches. For example, I will be working on a project on the computers in class, and make some very good progress. When I save it and open it up on my personal computer, or another computer random things are missing from my project. It will sometimes take me a while to go through the steps and find out what is missing and fix it. When it is all working well I really like scratch and the different things you can do on it.

  10. The most challenging aspect of programing thus far is figuring out the movement of sprites in relation with coordinates. In making them smoothly transition in the specific direction i want the sprites to go to, is isn’t always easy. i had to fumble and guess a lot on coordinates for the x and y axis to move sprites correctly. I don’t know if there is an error in the scratch 2.0 design itself or what, but when i placed particular x and y coordinates that appeared at the bottom left hand corner of the screen, it did not compute when i played with the programing.

  11. Responding to alex, missing a detail can be extremely costly and tedious when programing. I didn’t realize because i have never programed before how essential each and every particular step in coding is to the overall project. It is like having a remote for your television and there not being a power button to turn it on and off. The device itself becomes useless. In the same way, if one minute step or code is missing, the project is rendered useless as well. I experienced that in stage 4 of Scratch 2.0 when i was missing 1 code for the backdrop sequence, and it kept my program black until i went through the whole thing again.

  12. Additionally, responding to Kelsey’s statement about downloading a zip file for extra content, i completely agree. Is Scratch intuitively expecting us to be able to know where to download tis extra content? How do they propose we complete these stages without such content, which seemed extremely important? That is another point i would like to bring up, and is a flaw in this program; we lack the content require to finished and adequately complete stages and assignments.

  13. For me it has been the way the book explains things. Its really hard to follow some of the instructions and I don’t think Scratch is user friendly. Meaning that although is good to discover, sometimes is really hard to make some things happen. Furthermore, not being able to download some of the content has been limiting in seeing the entire capabilities of the system.

    1. I agree that Scratch is probably not user friendly but do we want it be? I get the end-goal of the Scratch project.

    2. Although there my be issues with some of the instructions I feel as though it gets down to how much time one wants to learn how to program/ones desire to better the project. I believe there are numerous tutorials as well as the textbook that allow an in depth look at the program.

  14. I also agree with Audrey, it was really hard to figure out the additional customs and such with the various sprites.

  15. As a concept in general, I don’t necessarily like Scratch as a programming tool. The stages were conceptually easy to understand and complete but while working on the midterm, I found myself being restricted with some of the tools. I also am not sure how I could apply the Scratch “programming” skills to other forms of programming.

    1. I think scratch is a useful programming tool because of the tools and the restrictions. While some may feel limited by the restrictions I found that as an opportunity to get more creative with ones project. Plus this was a great starting point for someone who is learning.

  16. I agree with Alex’s comment. I could see where some of the glitches could be due to poor translation in the book. It was difficult to follow.

  17. For me, the most difficult part of programming with Scratch 2.0 has been understanding the purpose of each stage. It was somewhat easy to follow each step in the book when we would work with Scratch in class but once I was left to do the project on my own and create short video, I found it challenging because I did not feel the book was teaching us anything, but rather instructing us to do follow through with specific steps without completely explaining the process and the purpose.

  18. I agree with Ivan when he says that the book was difficult to understand. I feel as though the book was poorly translated which made it challenging to make certain things happen.

  19. In response to Dan’s comment, I wouldn’t say that the book is too difficult to understand. I trust in all of our abilities to understand the steps and concepts but I feel that the difficulties we are having could be due to the quality of instructions.

  20. I also agree with Araceli. I think the Scratch 2.0 book did not fully explain the purpose of each step which made it difficult for me to understand what I was doing. Instead of just giving instructions or commands, it would be nice if the authors had also put the importance and purpose of each step. I understand this book was made for children so it is possible the authors did not see the importance of adding this, but as an adult, I would appreciate further explanation.

  21. The most difficult aspect of programming with scratch 2.0 has been understanding the instructions and coding. Because I have never used scratch I am trying to understand what is being done to my sprite as I follow each step. Sometimes, I make a small mistake and find that my character is not performing properly. Then I have to go through my script and instructions looking for the error. I’ve learned that t is better to begin filling in the script slowly until I am familiar enough to do it correctly and quickly.

  22. The most difficult part of the Scratch 2.0 program was learning how to code. This in a way was a was a language of its own. The instructions were very helpful but also made me realize the importance of each step. If one step is missed the final product does not turn out how you thought it would. That being said I learned to expect a different final product than the one you thought the project might turn out like. Simplicity was key to this program.

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