Teacher Notes CSEdWeek 2015
Created by the original inventors of drag-and-drop programming for education this tutorial reaches a new benchmark to unleash the creative energy of your students. The 3D Frogger activity will introduce your students to important computational thinking concepts in a playful, creative and highly motivating way. All you need is to spend at least one lesson (45 minutes or more) with your students to get them started. If, at the end of the lesson they submit their games then they will receive an email including a link to their project. With this link they can continue with the project. Your students can share their projects with their friends. The games created can even be run on regular computers, laptops and even mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads. The students even receive a diploma when they submit their games.
Simply watch the video for a short while and begin to create a 3D Frogger game, or any other game you would like to build. The interactive table of contents allows you to skip to relevant topics.
- Create 3D Objects: Draw 2D images and turn them into amazing 3D shapes.
- Create 3D Worlds: Assemble the shapes you just built into exciting worlds.
- Rule your World: Bring your world to life by programming using simple drag and drop rules.
- Share the world with your friends: Click the "submit your game" (up, right in the programming environment) to send yourself a link to your game. With this link you can continue working on the game or share it with friends through email or Facebook. The game can be played on Smartphones. You even receive a Programming Certificate with your name.
How to Prepare
You only need minimal preparation. Here are some recommendations for preparations to make things work well
- make sure your browsers work. Run this little Browser Test. If you do NOT SEE a spinning cube you may be to configure your browser (e.g., on older Macs you may need to enable WebGL in the Safari browser) or use a different version of a browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.
- If you want them to work individually and independently point them to the activity web site www.csedweek.us and have them build the game using the interactive video. You probably need headsets for this option.
- It can help a lot to have your students work in pairs. This way they can explain things to each other without having to ask you and they only need half the computers.
- If you have a video projector you could run the interactive video tutorial on the projector and have your students follow that.
- a better idea is to have one of your students run the video on the projector and build the project following the video. Meanwhile, you can be in the classroom to help students if needed. This is really a great way to learn.
Our activity is somewhat unusual in the sense that it includes a complete activity that can be programmed in an hour but ends with a "cliffhanger" leading to more programming. In the first hour students do create a first and already playable part of a game but the tutorial continues to allow students to create an elaborate game if they want to. Does the cliffhanger approach really work? Yes, we do have evidence comparing the 2013 3D Frogger activity with the 2013 Angry Birds (main) activity and the retention in the first hour is essentially the same. However, we also have data showing that students do indeed continue beyond the first hour.
What is learned?
- Computational Thinking Pattern: 5 main object interaction abstractions
- collision (frog, car)
- user control (cursor controlled frog)
- generate (tunnels generate cars)
- absorb (tunnels absorb cars)
- transport (turtles transport frogs)
- creating 3D shapes
- composing 3D worlds
- 3D camera control
For details on learning on motivation: Repenning, A., Webb, D. C., Koh, K. H., Nickerson H., Miller, S. B., Brand, C., et al., "Scalable Game Design: A Strategy to Bring Systemic Computer Science Education to Schools through Game Design and Simulation Creation," Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), vol. 15, pp. 1-31, 2015.
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|Spanish version German version|
- The video and the user interface can be changed to other languages: German, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.
- Some countries have their own support sites for the 3D Frogger activity: Switzerland, Mexico