The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
University of Kent launches new programming workshops for schools
Published 3 April 2007
by Maggie Bowman
Partner schools across Kent attended the first new Java programming workshop held at the University of Kent Computing Laboratory. The workshop series, in which groups of school students visit the department for a day, has been completely redesigned to use a new programming tool named "Greenfoot". Greenfoot is an environment for developing animated, graphical Java programs, such as computer games, and is particularly aimed at school aged learners.
Using Greenfoot, students are able to build real Java programs very quickly and easily. Java objects can be attached to graphical elements, and these can be programmed to interact and form complex systems. The workshops aim at providing interesting insights into realistic programming techniques. No prior experience with computer programming is required.
The workshop was led by Dr Michael Kölling, a lecturer in the department and the originator of Greenfoot. He introduced the concepts of Object Oriented Programming and Java in particular. He then demonstrated the advantages of using Greenfoot and assisted both pupils and teachers, who had fun working through practical examples.
The workshop was attended by groups from Canterbury College, Clarendon House Grammar School for Girls and Brockhill Park.
Michael Kölling, lead designer of the Greenfoot software, said:
" It is very nice for us to see school pupils get so excited about and engaged in programming. Greenfoot allows us to teach real programming in a very engaging and entertaining way, and it makes a real difference to the pupils and to us as teachers. "
The workshop, which took place on 22 March 2007, was organised by Janet Linington, the schools liaison officer for the Computing Laboratory. Similar workshops will be offered for other school groups in the near future.