Because the test was upon us, we just started conditionals with simple if statements. Nothing spectacular, but it allowed Chris to play with modifying pixels in images based on their color, following some of the ideas in Chapter 6 of Guzdial and Ericson (GE).
What's of greater interest is what comes next. We've got some time to spend with if, if-else, if-else-if, but once we've got that down, then we've established almost all the foundations we need: variables, types, arrays, objects, classes, loops, conditionals. So what comes up next?
- GUIs: We believe that students needs to understand how they work behind the scenes. What are events and how are they handled? How can they build a GUI that uses those events effectively?
- Extensions to other classes: These concepts are not specific to images, so how can they be utilized with other objects. The GE work with sounds may help with that idea.
- Building one's own classes: We've currently been working with adding methods to a pre-existing class. What if we want to build a class from scratch?
- Building one's own application: See the GUI above.
Coming out of the first half of class, I now see how important it is for students to type in as many methods as possible to their MyPicture class, as GE suggest. But I also believe that it's important for them to comment those methods as well in order to express their understanding of the code. For the many students who can't yet read code and immediately understand it, the commenting exercises are tremendously valuable. But like so many seeming valuable exercises, you've got to put in the time.