Teach Me Java for Scratch Graduates

Greenfoot and JavaIf you have been a faithful Scratch programmer, and are now ready to tackle some serious Java programming, try Greenfoot.  It is a perfect transition for Scratch programmers as you apply the concepts you learned in Scratch and attempt to implement the underlying Scratch blocks in real Java.

Scratch is a very high level programming environment that enables children to create complicated animations, through a drag and drop graphical user interface.  Children learn procedural programming as well as distributed programming via message-passing using Scratch.  The easy to use and intuitive graphical user interface enables "blocks" of code to be applied to animating two dimensional sprites.  Interactivity among sprites and the user is easily implemented using text dialogs, keyboard and mouse input.  Children learn a variety of control programming constructs in Scratch.

Game programming, storytelling and simulations are some of the most popular applications of Scratch.  Children when left to their own devices and smarts are the best inventors.  Does Scratch prevent you from serious programming?  No, in fact, it prepares you for real coding using a high programming language.  Here comes Greenfoot, an object oriented integrated programming environment (IDE) for Java.

Greenfoot comes packaged with many interactive programs or what they call "scenarios".  In Scratch, you would equate a scenario to a Scratch project.  A Scratch Stage is similar to a Greenfoot "World".  A Scratch Sprite is similar to a Greenfoot "Actor".  Since Greenfoot is object oriented, you will be able to extend the "worlds" and "actors" through inheritance.  Message passing in Scratch through broadcasting is similar to "events" in Greenfoot.

You can slowly introduce object oriented concepts and programming in Java via Greenfoot.  You don't have to learn Java the old textbook way, which is tedios and boring.  You learn Java, little by little by extending prefabricated scenarios, a chunk at a time.

Greenfoot is highly supported through a developed website, gallery, discussion, teacher room and of course a textbook available in hardcopy as well as softcopy.

At TeachMeProgramming.com, we hope to make learning computer programming exciting and accessible to children.


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