Sense-a-Sketch


Last week I had a fun day in London helping out at a special day school organised by the Open University in London to support students studying 'TU100 - My Digital Life'.  The focus of the day was to help students get started with programming activities using Sense.  My colleague Chris Douce has written an extensive blog post about the day, detailing the activities that took place through the day.

In brief, the morning involved a couple of excellent presentations from tutors, Tammy and Leslie, covering an introduction to program design (problem decomposition, basic program constructs, pseudocode specifications, etc) and a walk through of the Sense programming language and IDE.  In the afternoon, the students worked in small groups to build their own projects, which ranged from simple animations involving running stick men and Tom & Jerry, to games with aeroplanes dropping bombs on targets.  One of the teams built a really neat 'Etch-a-Sketch' application that used the keyboard to raise/lower a pen and move it around to draw things on the screen.  In the video embedded above, I have recreated this project in a very similar fashion to the students' effort just to demonstrate how they were able to use Sense to build this application - 'Sense-a-Sketch'.  The students' version had more features (e.g., the ability to stamp shapes onto the drawing ares) than the one I've shown here.

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