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Small Basic vs. Scratch RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I will teach a few Small Basic courses for a non-profit this summer.  I have two credible associates who tell me to use Scratch.  Can you please give your opinion as to why Small Basic is a better learning tool than Scratch?

    Thank you

    Thursday, March 21, 2013 4:07 PM

Answers

  • Scratch uses a very different approach from most programming languages. Instead of typing in instructions, those are pre-built as "Lego" blocks!

    I believe you can teach them both. Programming by blocks w/ Scratch and also show them how to do it for "real" w/ Small Basic!  :D


    Click on "Propose As Answer" if some post solves your problem or "Vote As Helpful" if some post has been useful to you! (^_^)

    Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:54 PM
    Answerer
  • I learned to program with Small Basic and I recommend it highly. One thing I love about it is that it uses .NET, so once you finally learn C#, VB or F# you can use the SB library until you become comfortable with the language's native libraries. Also, you can write extensions for Small Basic in any .NET language, which is a good encouragement for students to move up and learn a more advanced language so he/she can add to the Small Basic language (my first C# project was an SB extension.)

    One drawback to teaching .NET is that (if you are in the U.S.), the AP Computer Science curriculum uses Java. Java is another good starter language you may want to consider. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to move between Java and .NET (Java <--> C# in particular).

    In the end, it is up to you! I personally love SB's approach and would recommend to use SB as a course for beginners, then maybe C#/VB Small Basic extensions for intermediate students, then straight C#/VB for advanced students.


    Please mark any answers and "vote as helpful" any posts that help you!

    Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:51 PM
    Answerer
  • 1. Small Basic is close to natural language than Scratch is.  So easy to communicate with text language about Small Basic.

    2. Small Basic functionality is limited.  So it's easy to learn.

    3. I think we can train our logical thinking with Scratch before using natural language.


    Nonki Takahashi

    Saturday, March 23, 2013 2:21 AM
    Moderator
  • Scratch is closer to something like Kodu, where you learn the basics, but you aren't learning the skills that lead you to a career in computer science. So Scratch and Kodu are more like steps you might take before Small Basic.

    One great thing about Kodu is that you create real 3D worlds.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 8:08 AM
    Owner

All replies

  • Scratch uses a very different approach from most programming languages. Instead of typing in instructions, those are pre-built as "Lego" blocks!

    I believe you can teach them both. Programming by blocks w/ Scratch and also show them how to do it for "real" w/ Small Basic!  :D


    Click on "Propose As Answer" if some post solves your problem or "Vote As Helpful" if some post has been useful to you! (^_^)

    Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:54 PM
    Answerer
  • I learned to program with Small Basic and I recommend it highly. One thing I love about it is that it uses .NET, so once you finally learn C#, VB or F# you can use the SB library until you become comfortable with the language's native libraries. Also, you can write extensions for Small Basic in any .NET language, which is a good encouragement for students to move up and learn a more advanced language so he/she can add to the Small Basic language (my first C# project was an SB extension.)

    One drawback to teaching .NET is that (if you are in the U.S.), the AP Computer Science curriculum uses Java. Java is another good starter language you may want to consider. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to move between Java and .NET (Java <--> C# in particular).

    In the end, it is up to you! I personally love SB's approach and would recommend to use SB as a course for beginners, then maybe C#/VB Small Basic extensions for intermediate students, then straight C#/VB for advanced students.


    Please mark any answers and "vote as helpful" any posts that help you!

    Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:51 PM
    Answerer
  • 1. Small Basic is close to natural language than Scratch is.  So easy to communicate with text language about Small Basic.

    2. Small Basic functionality is limited.  So it's easy to learn.

    3. I think we can train our logical thinking with Scratch before using natural language.


    Nonki Takahashi

    Saturday, March 23, 2013 2:21 AM
    Moderator
  • Scratch is closer to something like Kodu, where you learn the basics, but you aren't learning the skills that lead you to a career in computer science. So Scratch and Kodu are more like steps you might take before Small Basic.

    One great thing about Kodu is that you create real 3D worlds.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 8:08 AM
    Owner