Hour of Code around Processing

Hi all, we are working on a Processing-based „Hour of Code“. It’s a free one-hour course, aimed at kids (9+), teaching the basics of programming through creating images and animations in a block based environment. For this course we are looking for testers. We are grateful for any feedback, especially about:

  • bugs
  • is the course fun?
  • is it easy to follow? if not, what are stumbling blocks?
  • is our english weird?

Here’s the course


well UWE, yes english is weird
esp. the word
“CANVAS” for a 9 year old ??

but i think you worry more about your english talking in the video

here is my thing:

-a- possibly you ask British or American people
about your german english ( i am the wrong to answer )

-b- my english is bad, but i teached 20 years worldwide,
and worldwide the people not talk english!
but want / need to use / english to learn computer and coding…
so i learned that actually a kind of easy / if not primitive / english is mostly welcome there.

so you could hire a native english speaking narrator for your english version videos,
but i think it is very much OK the way it is.

i like your project and hope you can make it into the
european school system, and for that need a french and a spanish version too,
( as for the code blocks AND the web page AND the teaching videos )
( i hope my comment is not taken too political )


We get many users from non-english speaking countries, so we try to keep the phrasing simple. Is there a term you would prefer over canvas? The video narration will be done by a native speaker eventually.
Thank you for your feedback!

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As a native english speaker, I think your English is very easy to understand. I wouldn’t worry about it :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you. Sometimes we’re a bit unsure if we’re using the right terms and phrases. It is so easy to cause misconceptions that way. In an ideal world every Processing tutorial would be done by Dan Shiffman. :wink:

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You can use the term “canvas” if you first introduce the concept. Something like, “the code creates an area on the screen. We call this area, the “canvas”. On this canvas, we create our images, just like an artist creates images on a real life canvas.”

The biggest problem in education lately is dumbing down concepts in the belief that children will not understand them. They will certainly understand, if we teach them.

Great program, by the way.


Thank you for your suggestion on how to introduce the canvas.

Following the cognitive load theory, we are trying to use only the blocks/functions and concepts that are relevant for the tasks at hand. Dumbing down is a serious problem in education. If kids are engaged and interested, they love hard tasks and concepts that are challenging.


Very cool, nice tutorial and great work. I am a huge fan of blocks + Processing

bugs / ui:

  • targeting might be a bit too hard for young people. The mouse drags over the On Start, but nothing happens. They have to drag the mouse over the tiny gap in the block – and the target doesn’t visually align with the actual gap, it is lower
  • dragging “On Start” out of the area freezes it in the toolbar – it either shouldn’t be draggable if it is required, or it should snap back, or it should be draggable out and then back in.
  • Running Start when there is no fill generates the error message as expected – however, even after dragging a new fill in, the Start button stays disabled. The user must also press the Reset button to re-enable the Start button. This is confusing and counterintuitive. After receiving an error and making a change, Start should be re-enabled.

I think the English audio is well done – the speaker in the video speaks slowly and clearly with pauses, and stops to define terms.


Thank you Jeremy, good points for our next UI rework! We’ve been grappling with the start/reset button behaviour for a while.


Hi all,
our Processing-based Hour of Code is now published. You find the course here.


Thank you all again for testing and giving us feedback!