Block Programming: Conditionals

Hi! Today, we will continue the series of blog posts on block programming, specifically focused on conditional blocks.

Throughout the article, we will learn the properties of loops and the advantages they bring to programming. To do so, we will use the “Conditionals” activity in our educational platform Smile and Learn. 

The Smile and Learn educational platform has more than 7,500 STEM and literacy based educational activities for students between the ages of 3 and 12. In our platform, children can dynamically learn a plethora of content related to main educational subjects, whether in the classroom or at home. We also host content focused on social and emotional development along with family play activities! 
Our content is available in both English and Spanish! If you would like to try it, you can request a free 30 day demo without any obligations from Smile and Learn here. 

WHAT IS PROGRAMMING?

There’s often a misconception that computers are complicated machines that are difficult to comprehend. In reality, the backbone of computers—programming—is quite simple to understand.

Programming is the language of technology and machines. Machines and computers function through the instructions that we provide them by using programming languages. 

While the world continues to develop new forms of technology, the role of programmers becomes even more important. Whether it’s the establishment of digital currencies or the construction of spacecrafts, programming is at the forefront of shaping our world. Such exciting endeavors are suited for bright minds, and children should receive the opportunity to explore programming through friendly and engaging resources that encourage enthusiasm about technology.

To learn more, continue reading!

CONDITIONAL BLOCKS

In the blog post on block programming, we learned that every block contains a different command, condition, or event.

This takes us to a new type of block: conditionals. This block allows us to perform different actions depending on the variable we indicate.

There are different types of conditions, but in our activity, we will use the “conditional if,” which allows us to perform a certain action depending on two variables. Specifically, our character will observe the crosswalk before crossing the road. If there are cars, they will stop and if there are no cars, they will cross.

 

CONDITIONAL ACTIVITIES

 

As you’ve seen, when we create conditionals, we select what action that our character would engage in depending on the situation. If we don’t indicate what to do, our character can’t continue. We have programmed it to observe the environment and determine the situation around it: in our case, it should see if there are any cars on the crosswalk. Afterwards, it will wait for a command to continue.

Therefore, it’s very important to program conditional blocks correctly, indicating the variables and subsequent actions.

USEFULNESS IN PROGRAMMING

 

Conditional blocks allow us to create more complex programs. Thanks to them, we can adapt the machines more to our needs and create as many variables as we want.

 

The majority of machines work through conditions. For example, most cell phones show warnings so that we take care of our hearing. When we press the button to increase the volume, the phone increases it, but when we reach a condition (a volume level of 8/10), our phone warns us that if we continue to increase the volume, it may be damaging to our health.

 

Conditions are very interesting programming blocks that help us achieve a plethora of things. Practice with them and you’ll become a professional programmer!

 

WHAT ELSE CAN I LEARN?

If you have enjoyed the “Conditionals” activity, you can continue your learning with the activities in our educational platform, Smile and Learn. Specifically, you can practice all that you’ve learned about block programming. You’re going to love it!

As a reminder, you can try our educational platform, Smile and Learn, by requesting a free 30 day trial without any obligations. You will then be able to explore all activities, games, and interactive stories we host. We look forward to meeting you!

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