Tag Archives: tutorials

Getting Started with Sharing and Remixing Scratch Projects

Screenshot of Scratch Starter Projects

One of the nice things about learning programming using Scratch is that they make it super-easy to share your projects and build new projects based on something someone else has done.

It’s all about “remixing.”

To get started, you’ll probably want to create a Scratch logon for yourself – goto the main Scratch studio page and click the button to “Join Scratch.” Once you’ve joined, you can:

  • Save your work.
  • Share your projects.
  • Create your own Scratch studio that has all the projects you’ve worked on (for easy sharing!).
  • Remix other projects.

So, What Do You Want to Share and Remix?

If you’ve never done any Scratch programming before, it can be a little hard to figure out where to get started. Here’s a few ideas:

When You Are Ready to Remix

Once you’ve got some ideas, find a project that you’d like to start with. For example, you could try Animate the Crab. 🙂

Screenshot of Animate the Crab

Just do this:

  • Click the button to “See inside.” (so you can see the code!)
  • Then, click the button to “Remix.”

Now you have your own project based on the original “Animate the Crab” and you can change it however you’d like!

… And, Sharing…

When you are ready to share your new project, that’s easy too – just click the “Share” button, type in a few comments about your project, and decide whether you want to add it to your own personal studio, share it with the world, or whatever…

Screenshot of Animate the Crab remix - share page

Happy coding! 🙂

Getting Started with Web APIs Using Python

python3-800px
Once you get past the basics of learning a new programming language, all the interesting stuff happens by using what are called APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and frameworks.

This is what takes you past just writing programs with loops, variables, and “print” statements, to being able to write programs that interface with the user (GUI interface), control features on your mobile device, get data from databases or web services, and do stuff like animation.

Codecademy has lots of great tutorials on programming and markup languages like JavaScript, Python, Ruby, CSS, HTML, and PHP. But then they also take it a step further and provide tutorials on a few JavaScript frameworks (e.g., jQuery and AngularJS). These frameworks can save you a lot of work by making it easy to do cool stuff like create a dynamic web page where UI elements move, fade, and change in various ways.

And then Codecademy provides a whole series of tutorials that help you to get started with using real-world web APIs. You can pick your language and browse through what they offer but below is a list of links to some of the tutorials that use Python (check out the beginner Python language tutorials first if you don’t know the language!).

So why would you care about using a web API?

Because on the web, an API is how everyone talks to each other. 🙂

Any time two websites interact, chances are they are using some of the basic and standard web API protocols and programming techniques that you’ll learn in the Codecademy tutorials. And once you learn how to use them, you can start creating mobile and web applications that build on top of all the cool stuff that somebody else has already done.

And that lets you move on to creating cool and creative stuff of your own even quicker…

Have fun, and keep coding! And if you want to get some ideas for how to start as a beginner, intermediate, or more advanced coder, check out the CoderDojo Metuchen Learn page!