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How to use Blockly in Your App [Video]

Are you looking for a way to introduce young makers to computer programming?  Programming by puzzle piece has become very popular user interface to help empower novice users to code.   You can find this programming interface in products like Scratch, MIT app inventor, LearnToMod, and tools at Code.org .   Blockly is the JavaScript library created by Google enabling developers to include “programming by puzzle” interfaces in their web applications.   See our previous post on this JavaScript library.

In the next few weeks, I will be teaching a coding class for middle school students.   While I will be using resources from Code.org for this experience, I wanted to create some special tools to engage these students using metaphors from 3D model building.   This work was inspired by seeing LearnToMod or similar tools.   In my work, I connected Blockly to OpenJSCad to enable kids to build 3D models using code.   Using the strengths of OpenJSCad, makers can 3D print their models using STL format.     You can learn more about OpenJSCAD on this post.

Block Builder

Check out my demo code here: http://inspiredtoeducate.net/blockly/demos/blockbuilder/

 

I found the following YouTube video and links helpful in constructing my tools.  If you’re going to include a puzzle programming interface in your web application, you have to enable the puzzle programming component to call JavaScript functions in your API.    The following video discusses how to create custom puzzle blocks and link those blocks to your API.

Make sure to check out https://developers.google.com/blockly/ to learn more about this awesome JavaScript library.

It would be fun to see someone connect blockly to robot control systems, voxel.js,  business work flows, or applications empowering young makers.   Let us know if you build anything cool with Blockly!

 

 

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