Eduka+

This page is dedicated to a project I and a friend of mine started a long time ago: Eduka+
It is a software application developed to help children learn basics of programming by presenting them 3 simple interpreted languages:

  • Kangaroo
  • Ant
  • Penguin

Eduka+ (Running)

(Eduka+ while running in Ant mode)

The basic ideea was to offer children a simple way of controlling a “digital pet” with simple commands like “Right“, “Left“, or even a bit more complicated controls like “If” or “While“. While we tried to keep it simple and clean, the software also offers much more advanced options:

  • School mode – In this mode the software would only allow a small subset to the students while leaving the most complicated and “unsafe” operations to the administrator.
  • Package management – We thought that different teachers could come up with different examples or event exercises and could package them into a single file that could be simple to distribute across the net.
  • Exercises and Tests – This option offers teachers the ability to create or run tests for their students with time limits and different complexity settings. Software would automatically monitor the results and generate a HTML report that’s easy to evaluate by the teacher. We felt that only the teacher could grade it’s students properly (although the software will specify in the report if the exercise were completed successfully).
  • International support – All dialogs were custom made to eliminate as much “default language” as we could. Currently only Romanian, English and Russian are supported. To be noted that event the interpreted language is translatable, so an excursive¬† is stored in a language neutral manner.
  • Syntax highlighting and completion support – Even if this sounds as a funny feature we decided that we could aid the child in not typing too much “of the same text”.
  • Comprehensive errors – The syntax or run-time errors are pretty much for every case so there would be no confusion of what went wrong.
  • Debugging - Yes! Debugging is a very useful and easy way for children to understand what actually went wrong. You can set break points, step by step execute and perform other such tasks.
  • Advanced printing – Printing is one of the main priorities in Eduka+ for obvious reasons (sharing the programs, exercises and test with each other in printed form).

There are othe smaller details which could make a difference:

  • Option to automatically re-create desktop icons (we know what children do when they see pretty icons ;)
  • A large set of examples. This would give a great push for the ones that are not familiar with the environment.
  • 5 Grid sizes where the “digital pet” exists.
  • Dynamic speed settings which lets you control the speed of the pet while running.
  • Help files which explain pretty much everything. (No English version I’m afraid).
  • An installer which would pretty much take care of everything you need.
  • … Much more that I can’t remember.
Note: This is just a beta, and there ARE BUGS. So be prepared to have one or two errors pop-up. The source code for the project is very old and it’s mostly procedural. So don’t expect much of it!

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