Yeah, I've been kind of wondering about how the game lab and app lab would work with the students. As I start to make some stuff in the app lab I find myself wanting to use a sprite. Or find myself thinking about how I would put this in the draw loop. It will be interesting to see how the students react to, and make things in app lab.
I would say yes, sprites are like things used in the real world. Are they always exactly sprites? no, but the concept is there.
What is a sprite? Its a collection of different bits of related data and functionality put together. This is a major concept( Object-oriented programming (OOP) ) in computer science and if the student continues in CS, they will see them again.