Posts Tagged ‘scratch’

I-Spy (using Watson services from Scratch projects)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

It’s half-term week, so that means more time for geekiness with the kids.

This is something Grace made this week: a game of “I spy” built using Scratch, that uses the Watson Vision Recognition API to let the game dynamically pick objects that it recognises in photos, so you can then make guesses.

Apart from being a fun game to make in it’s own right, I wanted to share why I particularly think it’s useful to be able to use Watson API’s from Scratch projects.

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 13.43.53

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The skills implications of Cognitive Computing

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

STEMtech is a conference about the education of science, technology, engineering and maths. The attendees are an interesting mix of people from education and policy makers, as well as people like me from industry.

This year, they invited me to do a talk. My slides are shared but they’ll make no sense by themselves. What follows is roughly what I think I said.

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Recycling: a Scratch game for Code Club

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Grace and Faith have been helping me work on a new project for Code Club. It’s not quite finished yet (Excuse: Thanks to the holidays, it’s still over a week till my next Code Club class!), but it’s close enough that I thought it’s worth sharing the work-in-progress.

The basic idea (more than a little inspired by an old Mega Drive game we’ve played) is that you have to catch falling bits of rubbish and put them in the correct recycling bin.

A playable version is embedded here if you’re using a Flash-friendly browser. Press the green flag to start, use the arrow keys to run left and right, and press the space bar to throw what you’re carrying. (If the embed isn’t working, you can also get to it on the Scratch website.)

I’ve started writing up how we made it, using Code Club’s lesson format tool. (A tool that reads Markdown with a few Code Club-specific extras).

The write-up is still a little rough around the edges, but the source for what we’ve got so far is on github.

And I’ve used lesson_format to create HTML and PDF versions in the Code Club style.

Taking a kid to a barcamp… again

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Last year, Grace tagged along with me to Barcamp Berkshire. She gave a talk, and it went pretty well.

I guess she must’ve enjoyed it, because today she came along with me to Barcamp Bournemouth.

I’ll write a post about what she talked about later, as it was actually pretty interesting. First, I want to get the shameless proud dad post out of the way. 🙂

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Starting a Code Club

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

logo This year I started a Code Club at my local primary school.

It’s still early days for me (I’ve only run four sessions of the Club so far) so I’m obviously not an expert on this stuff. But I thought I’d share some of my first impressions as a volunteer.


What is Code Club about?

If you’ve not heard of it before, Code Club is about giving children aged 9 – 11 a chance to try computer programming.

“A nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11”

It isn’t something that they normally cover in primary school (in theory, this should all change from September 2014 with Year of Code, but we’ll see how that works out), so Code Club is an attempt to introduce programming in primary school, rather than wait until it gets introduced in Secondary school.

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Grace’s Olympics Scratch

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Grace has been starting to get to grips with Scratch – a visual programming tool aimed at children.

She seems to like it so far, and has made a couple of little animal games. She’s also made a more topical animation


Grace’s Olympics animation

Controls:

  • Green flag means Play from the beginning.
  • Red dot means Stop.
  • The full-screen button in the top-left seems to need you to Shift-click to work.

Scratch’s web player is Flash-based. If you’re on a mobile or other non-Flash-friendly device, sorry – you’re missing something awesome 😉

It doesn’t seem to like Internet Explorer very much. If you’re on IE, what you’re seeing is pretty broken. There is a Java applet version that seems to work better on IE though.

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