Learn how to use keyboard input to control your Etoys. Each task in this series challenges has a goal and a set of tiles to choose from to create a script to reach the goal.
Thanks Mr. Steve for submitting this! I will use it in my class to teach the basics of keyboard inputs.
By the way, was the last step(4) a trick question? Did you mean to not include another tile as a condition for the reset?
I considered another tile, perhaps I should add a hint button to the project. Or better yet a blog post/screencast on how to use this project and others to teach Etoys.
I was trying to get the kids to move beyond the pre-packaged tiles and start opening up the Car's Viewer and figure out how buttons work, so they can get into the habit of figuring out how other projects work and learning from them.
Hopefully the kids will realize that the "car reset" button which is on each page in this and the other Etoys Challenge project does the sends the car back to the start.
What I would suggest is that when the kids start asking questions or look frustrated/confused ask them "How can you move the car back to the start?"
"Is there anything you have seen, in this project or others, that moves the car back to the start?"
Now the kids may not realize or easily discover that there is a script attached to the "Car Reset" button. So then you can show them how to get the menu and "open underlying descriptor" and/or ask them to open the Car's Viewer and look at the scripts for hints on how to do it.
I would love to hear feedback from anyone who uses this project with kids. In particular I am interested in where the kids got stuck, what worked well and what can be improved.
I built this project as a follow on to "Demon Castle" and "Etoys Challenge" game in the Tutorials and Demo's section of the Etoys "home page". So my expectation is that kids have completed these two tutorials first or have learned the basics in those two projects.
It is really great to see that somebody can analyze such a complex project and reuse it!
You've made these empty scripts ticking from the beginning. And I can see its upside but also downside. What is your reasoning behind that change?
Yoshiki, good observation, I just changed the project so that the first two Steps have scripts start as (and NOW when they hit the script stops or pauses) and the last two start as and .
My reasoning, well initially I had always seen projects where scripts start out in mode, so I wanted to switch things up and cause some cognitive dissonance (ie: "What the heck, that's not what I expected") to get the kids to think about what the "when the script should run" attribute does.
I also updated the blog post to add a teaching note on this:
# Look For: NOTE: In this project on the first two steps the scripts start in "Ticking" state so as soon as they put in a tile that action is taken. This will hopefully surprise some kids and lead them to ask "Why did that happen" If they do ask or notice ...
# When you see it: ... Ask them to look at the scripts "Ticking" state. Hopefully they will realize that is the reason (with guided questions if neccesary). Then ask them what the different states do and when they give you an answer (right or wrong it doesn't matter at this point, really!), ask them to "Prove It!" Ie: "How can you design a test to prove that's what it does?The goal being to get the kids in the habit of designing tests and testing their ideas.
Thanks very much for your observation, it has IMO improved the project and the teaching notes.
meant to say: I just changed the project so that the first two Steps have scripts start as TICKING (and NOW when they hit the script stops or pauses) and the last two start as PAUSED and NORMAL.
Actually that is what I typed but because I enclosed the words TICKING et al in Greater Than and Less Than signs the Comment Posting code seems to have removed them altogether
A very good way to teach Etoys.
This solve the problem of too many possibilities. focusing on only a few tiles.
This increase the chance of discovering the solution without help.
A suggestion for the maze :
Give the tiles:
car's heading <- 0
car's heading <- 90
car's heading <- 180
car's heading <- 270
car's last key <- ?
This enable moving in the same direction as the arrow keys with only one step by resetting the last key toan unused key.
The script will wait until a new arrow key is pressed.
A demand: Are you agreed that I use your challenges for teaching V-toys replacing Etoys tiles by V-toys tiles.
This will let comparing easyly Etoys and V-toys.
Pad, Thanks for the suggestion, I am working on a whole series of these types of tutorials and will think about how to include it. The initial series will be around Game creation as that seems to motivate the most kids. I am also thinking about one on Story Telling and Cartooning. Anyone is free and welcome to take these on first ;)
Yes you are right in that one of the problems I was trying to solve is how to keep the kids focused on the parts they need to solve the problem, without getting distracted by the power and complexity) of all the other tiles. Credit really belongs to Toshio Miyasaka who, to the best of knowledge, came up with the original design.
Toshio's design and the ability to create instructional software where you could hide the complexity and show only what you wanted was part of what first attracted me to Etoys and why I chose to work with it more than Scratch. That said the Scratch Community is a big draw for kids, I am hoping we can develop the same for Etoys. But in the end, I agree with a comment made by Yoshiki that kids should learn multiple languages.
Feel free to use whatever you want, I put a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License on the last page, so no need to ask.
Please let me know when you do create a vToys version, I would love to see what you do.
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