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2.04: Introduction to Parallel Programming

45 Minutes

Lesson Overview

This lesson will be a basic introduction to parallel programming where students will think about how they can go about getting Marty to do two things at the same time rather than one after the other. First, this will be demonstrated in MartyBlocks before trying it out with Marty.

Key vocabulary:
    Code blocks , Parallel, Sequence, Programming,

Content Sections

  • Learning Objectives
    1. Extensions & Challenges
      • Additional Reading
      • 2.04: Introduction to Parallel Programming

        45 Minutes

        Lesson Overview

        This lesson will be a basic introduction to parallel programming where students will think about how they can go about getting Marty to do two things at the same time rather than one after the other. First, this will be demonstrated in MartyBlocks before trying it out with Marty.

        Key vocabulary:
          Code blocks , Parallel, Sequence, Programming,
        • Awareness of event blocks and what they do; knowledge of a variety of movement blocks
        • iPad or Tablet with MartyBlocks
          • Marty the Robot v2
          • Marty Workbook
          • Tablets
          • Access to the MartyBlocks editor

        Learning Objectives

        • Understand the difference between running two commands at the same time versus one after the other
        • Create a small program that makes use of parallel programming using MartyBlocks
        • Understand when parallel programming should be used
        • Discussion of how we can do two things at once sometimes, for example, lift both of our arms at the same time
        • As a class activity, using MartyBlocks, program the MartyBlocks sprite to move 20 steps and say Hello a. What do students notice about the order in which the cat does this? Does it move and speak at the same time? Or one after the other?
        • Discuss how students think that we would program MartyBlocks sprite to do this action at the same time by introducing the concept of parallel programming (doing multiple things at once)
        • Show the students how they could achieve getting the sprite to move and talk at the same time. Get them to give it a shot on MartyBlocks and see what other things they can program the sprite to do at the same time.
        • Now move on to thinking about Marty’s movements. Can we program Marty to do more than one move at a time? Any move or only certain ones? Try and do these moves themselves (for example, do students think that they could lean to their left, put all their weight there and still kick their left foot?), highlighting limits of when we can use parallel programming
        • Ask students to try and experiment with parallel programming Marty, first of all by programming Marty to lift both arms up

        Extensions & Support

        • Get students to experiment with MartyBlocks and see if they can program the Marty Blocks sprite or Marty to do 3 things at once

        Additional Reading

        • Educator’s Guide
        • Introduction to Programming with Marty using MartyBlocks

        • Technologies: Computing Science
        • Literacy & English: Listening and Talking
        • Health and Wellbeing: Mental, Emotional, Social and Physical Wellbeing
        • Literacy & English: Writing
        • Computing, Design and Technology: Design and Technology
        • Computing, Design and Technology: Computing
        • CSTA Education Standards
        • Elementary Technology Applications: Grade 3 to Grade 5
        • Digital Technologies, Design & technologies: Design & Technologies
        • Digital Technologies, Design & technologies: Digital Technologies
        • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)