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Greenfoot 3 is here
25 Oct 2015

Splash

Greenfoot 3 has been released – the biggest change in Greenfoot since its original release.

This version of Greenfoot adds the Stride language and its frame-based editor to Greenfoot.

Java editing, as we know it, is not gone: Java and its old editor are still present, and we expect that many people will still use Greenfoot with Java. Greenfoot 3 was carefully designed so that existing teaching material is still usable and existing instructions and tutorials continue to work.

There is, however, now the added ability to write classes in Stride. Stride is a Java-like language, and its attraction lies not so much in language features, but in its unique frame editor: Half way between blocks and text, it makes the entry into programming much easier than it ever was before with an essentially text based system. It also eases the transition for learners coming from block-based systems, such as Scratch, Snap or Alice.

The transition from blocks to text is a very pressing problem for many teachers at the moment, and it is frequently discussed at computing education conferences. Several research groups are working on addressing this issue.

Where most other systems, however, support the transition by providing a dual system – code can be shown as blocks or as text, with transitions between them – Stride goes a different way: Instead of having two views to compare, Stride provides a single system that offers the main benefits of both blocks and text in a single interface.

In doing this, Stride is uniquely placed to offer a new way to teach young learners who want to move on to full text-based languages.

To get a first impression of frame-based editing, you can read this short description.

And better still, download Greenfoot 3 and try it out yourself!

Happy programming,

Your Greenfoot Team

Start experimenting with Greenfoot 3
10 Oct 2015

Gf3

Greenfoot 3 is nearing final release. Get the Greenfoot 3 preview now, see what is new, and help us with testing.

Greenfoot 3 preview 2 is out now, and you can download it and try it out.

Greenfoot 3, with its addition of the Stride language and frame based editor for early introduction of programming, adds fundamentally new ways how you could introduce programming to beginners.

Try it now to see what your instruction could look like soon.

To get you started with Stride, we have a new worksheet - Meet The Greeps - and a few Stride version of some of our favourite scenarios here:

We would also welcome testing of existing, Java-based scenarios to make sure Greenfoot 3 continues to work well with all existing code and teaching material. So run your own scenarios with Greenfoot 3, and tell us how is goes.

You can post any feedback in this discussion thread.

Let us know what you think!

The Greenfoot Team

Greenfoot on the Raspberry Pi
30 Sep 2015

Greenfoot_rpi

Greenfoot 2.4 is now part of the Rasbperry Pi distro!

If you thought you need a fancy computer to get cracking on your Greenfoot programming, think again!

With just a Raspberry Pi B+ or Raspberry Pi 2, you can already start developing your games right away! Just type in the terminal:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install greenfoot    

and it is availabe in the start menu!

Out now: Greenfoot 3 Preview 2
28 Sep 2015

Fig-3

Fancy a new editing paradigm?

We have just released the second version of Greenfoot 3 Preview.

This version provides many new features and functionalities, besides a lot of bug fixes.

An explanation of frame-based editing, and more information on our new editor, is available here.

You can get Greenfoot 3 Preview 2 here.

Greenfoot book - 2nd edition
06 Mar 2015

Cover-large

The second edition of the Greenfoot book is out now.

For this edition, the book has been significantly extended and improved. Several new chapters were added, more scenarios are introduced, and every chapter received a “Drill and Practice” section to reinforce the concepts learned.

These changes - together with many other improvements - make this an exciting new edition.

See more details here.

Greenfoot 2.4.1 Release
22 Jan 2015

Greenfoot-icon-256-shadow

Greenfoot 2.4.1 has been released. You can download it for all platforms.

This is primary a maintenance release with bugfixes, but it also includes a new Greenfoot.ask() method that allows you to request string input from the user.

Out now: Greenfoot 2.4
31 Jul 2014

Version-2-4

Get it while it’s fresh.

We have just released a new version of Greenfoot, version 2.4.

This version provides a number of bug fixes, and some functionality improvements.

The improvements include some new helper classes (which you can import into your scenario via the Edit/Import Class… menu). These classes make it easy to, for example, get live weather information, or access Google maps as the background image of your scenario. We will publish some more detail about how to use these shortly.

Text output has also been simplified, with a new showText method in the World class.

You can get Greenfoot 2.4 here.

Watch This Space: Greenfoot 2.4 out soon
25 Jul 2014

Announce

The next release of Greenfoot, version 2.4, is now in final testing and just about ready for release.

We have been working on this version for a while, and spent the last few weeks testing and preparing the release. So if you are planning to install software in your school’s lab over summer – hold on for a few more days and wait for Greenfoot 2.4.

The new version will have a good list of small improvements. It presents not a radical overhaul, but many small, incremental steps forward.

New features include new API methods, interface improvements, and some new, built-in helper classes.

We will tell you the details shortly. Watch this space.

All Day Greenfoot Workshop in San Francisco Bay Area
18 Sep 2013

Silicon-valley-code-camp

Silicon Valley Code Camp is a FREE code camp geared towards professional developers. We are introducing a new kids track this year with 4 hands-on workshops on Greenfoot by none other than Neil Brown.

The specific sessions are:

Build a chase game in Greenfoot (2-part hands-on workshop) http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com/Session/2013/building-a-chase-game-in-greenfoot-part-1 http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com/Session/2013/building-a-chase-game-in-greenfoot-part-2

Build a platforming game in Greenfoot (2-part hands-on workshop) http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com/Session/2013/building-a-platforming-game-in-greenfoot-part-1 http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com/Session/2013/building-a-platforming-game-in-greenfoot-part-2

See the complete agenda at:

http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com/Track/2013/kids

Join us if you can.

The Greenfoot Team Are Hiring
23 Nov 2012

Greenfoot_hiring2

The BlueJ/Greenfoot team are currently looking to hire new two team members. We are inviting applications until the 19th December. You can view the official job description and apply online, while one of our existing team members, Neil Brown, has written a more informal description of the job and the team.

The job is an interesting mixture of software development and academic research into computer education. BlueJ is used by several million users worldwide, and has an interesting web-scale data collection project being developed, while Greenfoot is a fast-growing fun visual educational system for kids with new ideas in the pipeline. Not to mention our teacher community websites, such as this one!

If you have any questions about the position then please feel free to contact any of the BlueJ team – Michael can be reached at mik@kent.ac.uk.

One teacher's experience with Greenfoot
17 Sep 2012

Ct

By now, many teachers have tried teaching with Greenfoot. Now one of them has shared his experiences in some detail.

in his blog at http://computingteacher.edublogs.org/, the “computingteacher”, a GCSE and A-level ICT teacher in the UK, has described his experiences over the last year in using Greenfoot for his GCSE ICT course.

The blog makes for interesting reading, and provides valuable lessons for many teachers out there.

The Great T-Shirt Bonanza
05 Jul 2012

T-shirt

Until the end of August, we’re giving away free T-shirts for every new resource uploaded to the Greenroom.

It’s summer again! Yes, really, even though for some of us this is really only apparent because the rain is getting warmer. (Unless, of course you’re in Australia. Or Africa. Or South America. Or… well, you get the idea.) But, summer here nonetheless, so what do you now need?

Right, a new T-shirt!

We know that some of you have great resources lying around that you’ve been developing or using over the year, and in a blatant attempt to bribe you to sit down and upload them we are sending everyone a T-shirt who uploads a new resource. (You can, of course, upload two or three or five resources, but only one shirt per person, I’m afraid. I know that you would ask.)

The famous black shirt with the green foot is by far the most popular thing we ever produced, far outstripping any software we ever worked on in success and appreciation. Wearing this shirt will make you 83% smarter, 2 cm taller and 112% more attractive to the opposite sex.

So, what are you waiting for. If you have a resource, upload it now. If you don’t – now is the time to make one!

More information in the related discussion post.

Greenfoot on the Raspberry Pi
21 Jun 2012

Raspberry-pi

Many of you will have heard by now of the Raspberry Pi, a small, credit card-sized $25/$35 computer. Now Greenfoot will run on it.

The Raspberry Pi has generated a huge amount of publicity lately, even before being able to ship the first units. The idea is that the computer is so inexpensive that you can just give it to your kid (or a whole bunch of them to your class), and they can just play with it. Broken anything? Don’t worry, just wipe the flash memory and start again.

We received our first two Raspberry Pis a few weeks ago. You just get the computer, and then you plug in your own charger (miscro-USB), keyboard, monitor and – if you want – network.

Neil, Davin, Phil and Michael B from our development team had Greenfoot running on it within an hour or so.

To prove that it’s real, here’s a picture:

Image Alt Text

Currently, we must admit that it runs somewhat slowly, and further work is required to make it more usable. But with better VM optimisation, better graphics optimisation and another JDK, this should all be possible.

We’re working on it - watch this space.

The Sinepost - Learning Maths and Computing
30 Mar 2012

Spaceship-sine1

A new blog by Neil Brown introduces mathematics concepts using programming. This works both ways: understand maths through programming, or improve your program using maths.

The blog is called The Sinepost, and was started in February.

While the Sinepost uses Greenfoot for many of its examples, the content is not, in fact, restricted to Greenfoot. Most of the techniques discussed are generic programming and maths concepts. This gives you a nice way to hit two flies with one swat, as we would say in Germany. (In English, I guess, you’re more into killing birds…)

The blog describes itself thus:

This blog aims to show you how to learn and apply mathematics using computing, without being as boring as that sounds!

A variety of relevant examples illustrate fundamental mathematical concepts. While students in maths classes often struggle to see the relevance of trigonometry, for example, using it to turn a spaceship to the nearest star gives it immediate practical value.

The blog is written by Neil Brown, from the Greenfoot team.

Greenfoot at SIGCSE
17 Jan 2012

Logo

There will be two Greenfoot events at SIGCSE 2012: a workshop and the Going Greenfoot evening event. Join us if you can.

At this year’s SIGCSE conference in Raleigh, North Carolina (USA), several members of the SIGCSE team will be present and presenting.

On Wednesday (29th Feb), Neil and Michael will present a workshop titled Teaching with Greenfoot and the Kinect – A Novel Way to Engage Beginners (7pm-10pm, room 306C). The title gives you a good clue what it’s about: Using the Kinect with Greenfoot for some cool projects.

Throughout the conference Greenfoot team members will also be present in the exhibit area at the Oracle booth, giving demos of Greenfoot, the Kinect, and generally happy to talk to people and answer questions.

And lastly, but most importantly, at 6pm on Friday we will have our big Greenfoot event, Going Greenfoot, with drinks, peanuts and some Greenfoot talk. And you can win a great prize: A Kinect to take home!

So, if you are at the SIGCSE conference this year, come by and say hello.

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