Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bavel Blocks?

Bavel Blocks is a block-based programming environment.  We found that programming with blocks is the best way to introduce and teach programming. Blocks allow students to focus on the logic of their program, not the syntax of a text-based language. Students snap blocks together to build programs and the blocks generate Javascript.

Javascript is the most popular programming language of the internet. It is an incredibly rich programming language with support for gaming platforms, mobile devices sensors, and support for creating and editing animated images. Anything you can imagine to do with a computer is available in Javascript.

As they build their program, students can view the Javascript generated by the blocks. As they advance in knowledge, Bavel provides a special block that allows them to add textual Javascript statements directly into their block-based program. This provides a bridge from the block-based language to a traditional text-based language. Students can extend Bavel themselves to add any capability provided by Javascript.

Bavel Blocks integrates video instruction in the programming environment. We provide “kits” which include the images, sounds and videos for a particular project. By watching videos, students learn how to build the project as well as important computer science concepts and the engineering design process. Students learn how to design the rules and behavior of a project and the user interface which is how a student interacts with their program. They learn how to use hardware components effectively and efficiently. The videos provide information on a variety of topics including intellectual property rights and restrictions associated with using copyrighted material.

Bavel Blocks Membership Benefits

Anyone can create projects with our basic blocks and read our forums, but there are many benefits to becoming a member. You can ask (and answer) questions in our forum. You can publish your project to the gallery and share it with the world. And you can remix gallery projects and save them as your own.

More benefits coming soon:

  • You’ll have additional blocks added to your toolbox along with instructions on how to use them.
  • You’ll be able to copy blocks from one project and paste them in another
  • And you’ll have access to more kits!

Open Source and Public Domain Resources

The block based programming environment and Javascript code generator is built on Blockly. Blockly is a research project from Google, led by Neil Fraser. The gaming engine is Phaser, an open source project led by Richard Davie. Phaser is a professional grade gaming engine written in HTML5/Javascript.

The image, animation and sound files come from other sites that provide public domain resource:

Supported Devices and Browsers

Our programming environment and your projects should run on any device with a browser that fully supports HTML5. We have been most successful using Chrome because it provides the most comprehensive support for HTML5. We have had issues with both Safari and Silk browsers and older versions of the Android browsers. We recommend Chrome, which is available on many devices. We have also used Opera successfully and have used that browser with Bavel Block projects on Kindle devices.

Why We Use Social Media ID’s for Signing In

We need a way to link a user with their projects. We allow you to sign in to our site using social media identifiers, such as Google, but we request the minimum amount of information from those providers. We DO NOT want your personal information, and if you are under 13 we are legally prohibited from collecting information without your parent’s consent. Please read our terms of service and privacy policies.

How to use your own image, animation or sound files

We provide blocks that allow you to link to resources on other sites and use those resources in your projects. We do not provide hosting services, i.e. allow you to upload files to our server. If you want to use
your own images, animations and sound files, those files have to be hosted on another server. There are many servers that will host images. Or you could use cloud storage, such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Cloud Storage. Then you can use Bavel Blocks to use those resources in your project.

Video Instruction

Our videos are streamed from Vimeo. If your school or internet provider blocks Vimeo services, then you will not be able to view our videos in the “Instructions” tab. If this is an issue, please contact us. We may have alternatives that will work for you.