use BlueJ in my courses.
I like it for pedagogical reasons
(see and interact with your objects/classes, run JUnit tests,
integrate with JAMtester).
JCreator is also nice - I've used it in class and I use it personally.
Recently I've started to
use Eclipse - and like that a lot as well - I'll use it in class
IDE! Great for viewing object relationships and performing unit/regression
instructions and useful configuration tips.
to use BlueJ in an academic environment
- The object
diagrams you are referring to while teaching are drawn for you
in BlueJ. As you teach, you are showing them the hierarchies
over and over again - and you're interacting with the objects
(which is what oop is all about).
your students setup and running at home is much easier than
the other environments.
- It works
on a pc and a mac.
- The environment
is simple; there aren't a lot of buttons, options, etc. to get
in the way of the beginning student. You can keep them focused
on what they should be focused on.
you to perform unit testing - this is a huge benefit not to
be overlooked. Please check out Jamtester
to read about unit testing and another tool I created to help
you auto-grade labs and help your students write better code
- this is a must read.
you to test a class or method of a class without having to write
a "main program". You can instantiate one instance
of the object and then call a method (sending it any parameters)
and it'll give you the result.