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!
Your Greenfoot Team