JiT Turtle offers a coding platform for even the youngest of learners. The interface has a number of features, allowing you to teach computational language, programming and debugging in a child friendly space.
JiT Turtle interface
Selecting a template or background
JiT Turtle comes with seven pre-designed templates ready to use. When opening JiT Turtle, the template sub menu will load automatically. You can choose to use one of the templates, or alternatively you can load your own background picture by selecting the pictures sub menu. Here you can add pictures from MyFiles, shared files, the internet or even use the web cam to add a photograph straight in!
Adding a sprite
When programming, the characters are called "sprites". JiT Turtle allows you to add up to 4 sprites. To add a sprite, click on the + button, and then select the sprite you wish to use:
Deleting a sprite
When using a template, the sprite will be pre-loaded into the game. These sprites can be easily deleted by clicking on the red X next to the sprite:
JiT Turtle can be programmed using the simple or advanced interfaces:
- Simple interface. This activity involves the sprite moving for each programmed algorithm, allowing the pupil to see in real time where the sprite will end up. Once the algorithms are programmed, press play to initiate the code
- Advanced interface. During this activity the sprite will not move until the play button is pressed. This is a good activity to use with learners who are more familiar with programming, allowing them to predict programming outcomes
To add algorithms, simply click on the directional arrows. You'll notice, as soon as you click an arrow it will add the instruction into the scripts area:
If you add an algorithm by mistake, it can be deleted by clicking on the x next to the algorithm. Alternatively algorithms can be moved by clicking and dragging to the correct place.
Changing the pen colour
The sprite can be programmed to draw a path as they move (Note - this can be a very useful teaching tool, especially for younger learners, as it provides visual feedback for the current algorithms. Learners can use this feedback to debug their coding if necessary). The pen colour can be changed by clicking on the red pen icon alongside the sprite.
Adding a path using the pen function
To draw a path, simply select the "Pen Down" function. This will add the algorithm into the scripts area. Once this is selected, the sprite will draw a path until the "Pen Up" function is programmed.
Debugging is an essential skill for learners to learn when coding. Debugging involves finding mistakes and correcting the "bug" to fix the code. The algorithms can be easily moved
Saving your work
To save your work, click on the save icon on the top right of the screen. This will save as a workable file, which will allow for further edits in the future.