Development of Physical Blocks with Communication Device for Visual Programming Study


The visual programming language Scratch is widely used to learn problem-solving skills and logical thinking; However, it is not easy for elementary school students to learn how to use Scratch language. Conventional Scratch learning has two different aspects on how to use the PCs to carry out various operations and programming. For students who are unfamiliar with how to use the PC such as how to use the keyboard and mouse. For these students, it will difficult for them to proceed with learning how to use the PCs and at the same time how to do programming.The purpose of this research is to introduce students on how to program without having to learn how to operate the PCs. In this research, the authors have developed their own program using real physical blocks instead of the blocks that must be used on the Scratch's screen. By connecting these real blocks together, the students can create the Scratch programs.This created program can then be used to execute on a PC. The authors have created seven different types of physical items which we call 'blocks'. These 'blocks' are as follow: "start", "display", "move", "repeat", "conditional branch", "conditional expression" and "sensor". The 'Start block' function is to connect the other blocks to the PC. These physical blocks are then connected in the same way as the Scratch program. Overall, the authors developed real blocks to confirm that the operations worked.

Author Information
Akihiro Iida, Tokyo Denki University, Japan
Tatsuyuki Takano, Kanto Gakuin University, Japan
Osamu Miyakawa, Tokyo Denki University, Japan
Takashi Kohama, Tokyo Denki University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2017
Stream: Design, Implementation & Assessment of Innovative Technologies in Education

This paper is part of the ACE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon