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Greenfoot is an application which allows its users to use Java code to easily create simple graphics or visuals. Greenfoot should be used to encourage the students to not give up programming if they find it difficult as it lets them immediately create the thing they were trying to do. There are many pre-defined methods such as turnLeft() or setLocation() which allow the programmer to easily move an actor around. This actor can have its controls mapped to the keyboard so that the student will be able to move his or her actor around. When the students see that they have managed to make a moving character with a few simple lines of code, they would probably be encouraged to make their Greenfoot application even more interactive. Since Greenfoot uses the actual Java code, the students are learning Java in fun way compared to the usual text based programs such as when creating a simple calculator program.
In the classroom, it can be used by for example telling the students to have the program act out a short short while the student is narrating what is happening. An example of this would be: two people walking towards an ice cream van to get ice cream or a kid bouncing a ball towards the edge of the screen and the ball bounces back to the kid. As we can see, there are loads of possibilities as to how one can use Greenfoot.
Some screen shots of Greenfoot can be found here:
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