Frog Conference: Discover FrogCode


Graham Quince, the Frog Technical Advocate is going to be at our Birmingham conference to talk about FrogCode.

Here is a taste of what he’ll be talking about…

Traditionally, one of the challenges for any school switching to FrogLearn from Frog3 has been that while the new platform has been great for teachers, it has limited the control administrators were used to. Since the introduction of the HTML widget this no longer had to be the case. Gareth Davies pointed out in previous years that everything that appears to the user in FrogLearn was constructed using Frog’s APIs and that these APIs are available to schools to control Frog as they see fit.

The challenge inherent in this statement is that APIs are a level of complexity beyond most web developers every day experience. ‘You can use APIs’ can be easily read as ‘go away and learn how to use APIs’. In truth, Application Program Interfaces are no more complex than HTML, Javascript or any other coding experience. Having started at Frog with no experience of APIs, a few short lessons from Chris Smith has given me the ability to sculpt FrogLearn’s widgets to create functionality I’d only been able to wish for previously.

Under Chris’ tutelage, I’ve been able to create tools which I’ve shared with schools across the country, empowering them to tailor their platform and create something special just for them. The frustrating part of the journey has been disseminating this newly acquired knowledge.  Frog’s community site and forums have worked well, but now we need to scale up the use of the HTML widget so that all our schools can benefit.

During this time, Chris has also been working on the FrogCode Interactive Developer Environment. A self-contained platform inside Frog which will enable school developers to create their own widgets and apps. In time, schools will be able to use this IDE to write custom reports for FrogProgress and build and manage themes on their Frog. Having seen the product in testing, I am very excited to see how schools use it. I can only begin to guess at the developments they create to drive their platform.

The computer science curriculum has proven a challenge to schools, not just in the teaching, but also in providing an environment for students to actually code in. The challenge of how to collect and assess student work has proven just as much of a headache too. Alongside the development of FrogCode IDE, we have also created the Code Activity Widget which will allow teachers to assign programming to students. The code activity widget is able to accept code in HTML, CSS, Javascript, jQuery and most importantly Python. Running entirely inside FrogLearn, these new features will also be available on both Chromebooks and iPads.

You can hear more from Graham at our conferences by booking here.

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