New Kojo Release — 2.4.06

I’m pleased to announce a new release of Kojo. Highlights include:

  • Enhancements for young (~7 year old) learners:
    1. Beginner Challenges to get kids going with programming. These are available via the Tools -> Beginner Challenges menu item.
    2. Refinements to the Instruction Palette tool to make it easier for kids to write substantial programs with minimal typing. This is available via Tools -> Instruction Palette.
  • Enhancements to the Linear Equations story (available via Samples -> Math Learning Modules -> Solving Linear Equations). Kids can now type in an equation and then click on an Explain button to see a step-by-step solution of the equation.
  • Scala upgrade to version 2.11.6
  • And the big one for this release — gaming enhancements (you can see these in action in the sample games mentioned below):
    1. Support for pictures bouncing off pictures:
      There’s a new function – bouncePicVectorOffPic(pic: Picture, velocity: Vector2D, obstacle: Picture): Vector2D
      You give this function a picture, its velocity, and an obstacle, and it figures out for you the picture’s new velocity after it bounces off the obstacle.
    2. Support for collision polygons for image pictures:
      These allow you to create a game character using an image, and then specify a collision polygon for the image to enable realistic and efficient collision detection for that character.
    3. Support for batches of pictures for more realistic animation (via easily controlled cycling through the pictures in a batch).
    4. Support for game timers.
    5. Support for updatable text pictures (for easy game scoring).
    6. Sample games based on the above enhancements. Three new games are included:
      Car Ride
      car-ride
      Collidium
      collidium
      Flappy Ball
      flappy-ball

As always, the new version is available from the Kojo Download Page.

Enjoy!

Posted in News, Release | Leave a comment

New Kojo Books

I released a bunch of Kojo books last month:

All except the first one are short books without any prose! These books contain small snippets of code for learners to try out, along with (constructionist) exercises based on code that has been previously seen/used by the learner.

Initial results with this format have been quite promising, and I plan to put out more such books over the course of this year.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Kojo in Sweden

Kojo continues its impressive progress in Sweden. The following is a link from the blog of Skolverket, the Swedish National Agency for Education:

http://omvarld.blogg.skolverket.se/2015/02/26/programmering-for-alla-pa-tunaskolan-i-lund/

(You can use Google Translate to decipher the contents of the above link).

 

Posted in News | Leave a comment

New Kojo Release — 2.4.05

I’m pleased to announce a new release of Kojo. Highlights include:

  • Support for Hindi, contributed by Vipul Pandey.
  • Support for German, contributed by Christoph Knabe.
  • Improvements related to widgets in the canvas.
  • Code completion improvements.

As always, the new version is available from the Kojo Download Page.

Enjoy!

Posted in News, Release | Leave a comment

New Kojo Release — 2.4.04

I’m pleased to announce a new release of Kojo. Highlights include:

    • Support for Esperanto, contributed by Christoph Knabe.
    • A more responsive GUI while making big drawings at full speed.
    • A preview version of a visual challenge framework to get young learners going with explorations of numbers, angles, programming, systematic thinking, etc. You can run this in a couple of ways:
    • A preview version of a new turtle for younger children. Here’s a sample session with the new turtle:
      clr
      val za = nt // create a new turtle called za
      za fd 100 // one command per line
      za rt 90
      za fd 100 rt 90 fd 100 rt 90 // many commands per line
      // only one-arg commands can be used without parens
      za jt (0, 0) lt 90 
      
      // teach za new tricks
      za teach 'sq cmds {
        za fd 100 rt 90 fd 100 rt 90
        za fd 100 rt 90 fd 100 rt 90
      }
      
      za teach 'sqn cmds { n =>
        rpt(4) { za fd n rt 90 }
      }
      
      za teach 'colrsq cmds { (n, c) =>
      za fc c
        rpt(4) { za fd n rt 90 }
      }
      // use the new commands
      za sq () sqn 80 colrsq (70, green)

As always, the new version is available from the Kojo Download Page.

Enjoy!

 

 

Posted in News, Release | Leave a comment

New Kojo Release — 2.4.03

I’m pleased to announce a new release of Kojo. Highlights include:

  • Preliminary support for Arduino programming. The steps required to get going with this are described in a bundled story, accessible via Tools -> Arduino Programming. Some Kojo based Arduino programming examples (ports of the examples in the official Arduino Starter Kit) are available to help you get going. More information on this subject will be provided in future blog posts.
  • Miscellaneous improvements (full screen support, MP3 playback, Pictures API, include files).

As always, the new version is available from the Kojo Download Page.

Enjoy!

Posted in News, Release | Leave a comment

Phil Bagwell Award

I received the Phil Bagwell award at Scala Days 2014 for my work with Kojo. Here’s what I said in my video ‘acceptance speech’ :

“It’s an honor for me to get the Phil Bagwell award this year. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Phil for about a year during the course of my work with Kojo; he made big contributions to Kojo during this time – first with the Scala tutorial that is included right within Kojo, and then by giving me very constructive and very hands-on feedback on pretty much every new feature that was added to Kojo during this time.

So getting this award today in his name is a special moment for me, and adds to my motivation to continue to work in the area of Scala and education; and of showing, via Kojo, how Scala can be used in simple yet powerful ways. This was important to Phil, and continues to be important to me.”

Posted in News | Leave a comment