A Walla Walla Ping Pong….

Good Morning Again. Two posts in one day, how lucky are YOU!!!!

I am posting this morning as I have been very tired the past few nights after sitting up completing these Scratch activities. So this morning I thought I would dedicate an hour or so and let you all know how I went.

Scratch has grown on me. I can happily say that I am becoming very capable of using the program now as my confidence has increased over the past few nights. I can definitely see the positive learning outcomes that could be aligned with the Technology stand of the Australian curriculum.

Activity 3 asked me to create a simple ping pong game. I love that word ‘simple’… Simple for some isn’t always simple for others. However, instructions do make things a lot more simple. So off I went into the world of Scratch once more and created my simple ping pong game. I was going great until I had to use my mathematical memory and remember my angles. I used a few different combinations before I settled on the specific angles used to determine the direction of the ball once bounced off the pong. May sound a little boring, however with a game like ping pong it makes a HUGE difference. This also would need to be taken into consideration if I were to make different levels. As you can see below this is what my Simple Ping Pong game screen looks like.

pong1

There were a whooping 3 challenges for this activity. And Yes, I was like “BRING THEM ON”!!!!  lol

Challenge 1 wanted me to turn my simple game into a more vintage style game of ping pong. In a vintage game it really matters where on the paddle you hit the ball as to where it will go/what speed it takes. I had to alter the sprite to allow for the different stroke responses. You can see this as I changed the colour of the paddle so that the player could also see where they hit the ball. I also had to alter the ball to respond to these responses. Ill admit it took a little fiddling around, however I got there in the end. You can see below my screen shot together with the script I used.

pongchal1

Challenge 2 asked me to add a second player to the game. I had to decide if I was going to change the game horizontally or leave it vertical. I decided to leave it vertical. However also paying it seemed it would be tricky for two players to play this on a computer screen. I have left it the way I created it for the time being.

I found it ok to set up player to exactly how I created player one. The only thing I cant figure out is how to have two different scores. One for each player. If you know how to do this let me know. 🙂  You can see below my game screen shot and script.

pongchal2y

Challenge 3 was one I was very excited about as I have Very fond memories of playing the game BLOCKOUT as a girl. It used to be my all time favourite game to play back in the 90’s when the computer era was still developing. I used to think it was AWESOME!!! Actually I still do….. hehe

I knew exactly what this game looked like and how to create it. The best thing was that each block or ‘Sprite’ could have the same script. Therefore I only had to copy and drag the script from one to the next. I guess if you wanted to challenge the players further you could have each block perform different functions as the original game did. I enjoyed this challenge ALOT. And my six and four year old also loved playing it. You can see my screen shots below and script or play the game I created here.

pongchal3-2 pongchal3

 After being very hesitant of Scratch at first I believe that I would happily and quite successfully be able to incorporate a program like this into the Technology stand of the Australian Curriculum within the classroom.

I have just look ahead and have seen that I now must create a learning experience of my own. Wish me luck! Keep a look out as hopefully I will have it completed tonight. 🙂

The next SCRATCHing post

Hello again.

This is my second post in regards to the ever challenging Scratch. Luckily for me I was provided with wonderful step by step instructions written by Simon Haughton. This second activity did also build from some prior knowledge I acquired during the Etch-a-Sketch activity. Which helped ALOT as the actual concept of Scratch wasn’t so foreign.

This activity had us create a simple racing car game. We had to create a new background for the game as well as a new Sprite. I found the background quite easy to master. The Sprite on the other hand I had to play around with a little as my first attempt was much to large to use on the background I created. So I scaled it down a little and also centered it for playing use. By centering the Sprite it enabled it to pivot on its center rather than in a full circle.

I then followed the instructions and created a simple race car game that allowed my little car move across the page in an up and down movement to the finish line.

 car

As you can see I programed the game to show the cars finishing time as it crossed the finish line. This was the completion to the activity. I was very happy with my result.

So happy that I accepted challenge 1……..

Challenge 1 required me to add a second car to the game. The real challenge here was to figure out how to allow two people to use the keypad at the same time so that they can maneuver the cars to the finish line. I workout out that if 1 person uses the standard arrows the second person could use the number pad to the left which also has arrows on it. A screenshot of this challenge is below. Very simple still with basic images. I believe that the high primary grades would be able to create this game, whereas the lower grades would only be able to play it. Either way there are many beneficial learning outcomes for both.

Untitled-2 cars

Lastly, as I do LOVE a challenge I accepted challenge 2 for the race car game. This challenge required me to modify the game similar to the Etch-a-Sketch and have the cars move continuously and only adjust upon command. Using my prior knowledge I knew instantly what to do. I knew I had to create a new VARIABLE. this variable is SPEED. Creating a new variable was not mentioned in Simons instructions and required a lot of thinking and PLN discussions. As you can see below the script I used to created this to happen.

script car My game was now complete. You can play my game here.

 

An introduction to Scratch….

Don’t be fooled by the name…

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Scratch was developed by the MIT Media Lab with the purpose of motivating further learning through playful experimentation and creation of projects, such as interactive animations, games and more. Supporters of the scratch program have stated that students who use Scratch at a young age can develop a ‘solid foundation of knowledge that can help prepare them for the use of higher level programming languages and math’.

My initial thoughts on a digital programming activity within the classroom was that of ‘what is it’, ‘how will it work’ and honestly ‘is it really necessary?’. I wondered how on earth am I meant to have 25 students in a classroom develop any sort of computer program or app that they could use or share. After reading further into what the program was all about and the many success stories from students, teachers and parents I was eager to have a play around myself. You can find out all you need to know, as an educator here.

Ok, so I personally decided to save space and not download the complete program to my computer as it was just as easy to use it online. Plus its FREE.

My first task was to read through the activities and challenges set for me in the course material. I then printed off activity 1 and sat and looked at it for about 20mins. lol. It was very confusing. I thought, there is no way I can understand this unless I just jump straight in and give it a go. So that’s what I did. I followed the “simple commands” set out in the learning activities learnt things like, how to match the Sprite (Little Cat) move across the page, how to get him to play drums and change costumes. Part of the learning activity was to create a square. I found this easy to do as I was simply following the instructions given to me. It wasn’t until I was challenged to combine my square with a triangle and have the Sprite create it altogether. Tricky. But I figured it out. I was feeling extremely proud of myself, and confident. I finally created a little house!

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Next I was to create an Etch-a-Sketch. With my new found confidence, I followed the instructions and one step at a time I created the many commands necessary to make my Etch-a-Sketch work. I struggled with figuring out how to set different pen colours. At first it was by lucky chance that I managed to make the pen Blue, then I realized it was because I had clicked the colour box and moved my mouse cursor over the colour blue somewhere on my screen. Once I figured this out I was able to create many different colour changes. I also added sounds as auditory feedback. You can view my created project here.

Untitled-3 etch a sketch copy

Lastly I was challenged to modify the Etch-a-Sketch programming to allow for continuous drawing and change only on keypress command. Holy Cow!! Do you think I could get this to work? I tried many many ways, and failed. And then every time I changed something it would change the whole process and I forgot where I started. I needed to go to bed. zzzzzz

After a rough nights sleep I decided to try again, however instead of trying to figure it out on my own I decided to communicate with friends on a PLN and see if anyone could help me. The advice I was given was “here is an example of what you could try, however to understand the codes you must build the codes”. Great Advice. Especially for this program. So after about 15mins of playing around I created my automatic Etch-a-Sketch. Trust me a did a little happy dance around my computer room tonight!! You can view my created project here.

 Untitled-4-move on own copy

 Well, that was all for this activity. Make sure you follow my progress as I learn what else can be created and explored using Scratch.

xxoo

A little bit about me….

My name is Kandy and I began studying externally in semester 2 2008. I am married with three children Madison, Cooper and Quinn. My children bring me so much joy, so much so that i am studying to become a teacher of primary. I really enjoy studying through USQ as it provides many opportunies and much needed support.

Since graduating from school in 2001 i have worked in Real Estate in Brisbane. Working my way through up ranks i became Personal Assistant to the National Director of Residential Australia at Knight Frank. I enjoyed working within a team environment and contributing to important endeavours.

A big move to the country in 2008 prompted a need for a change, so I began work at the local high school as a teacher aide. This is when the idea to study education was triggered. I have never looked back.

When i don’t have my nose in the books, I love just hanging out with my kiddies and hubby. I enjoy socializing with my friends and running every week.
I am very spontanious and enjoy just taking of for the day and trying something new.

I am currently in my final semester of study within the BEDU program.

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This blog was specifically designed for EDP4130 – Technology Curriculum and Pedagogy, in association with the assessment tasks within the course.  I will post blogs regarding activities completed within the course, along with interesting technology classroom experiences, published documents, etc.

Please feel free to comment on my posts.  I welcome your input…  Scratch ya later…. (pardon the pun.. hehe)

Happy Reading,

Kandy