As you can tell, this is pretty juvenile but if you try one out for yourself, you may find it is harder than it looks. I was a bit frustrated before I found the tutorial on the side. After finding that, I was able to follow the steps. After more practices and with more advanced examples, I am sure I could make a more complicated piece. However, without a tutorial or an example, I would be lost! To make this, I referenced the tutorial that is available on the side when you make a creation. I also used Scratch videos on Vimeo and ScratchEd. I also signed up for Code Academy and watched a tutorial (there are many resources on here)! For more information, check out code.org (‘learn’ section and “An Hour of Code“).
How does this relate to education?
I just learned about it today but apparently people have made a living by coding (aka scripting/programming). So I guess I just found out about it today but it probably has had a big impact on my life, for instance, in regards to the apps I use. (I feel the fish in water analogy is applicable here). The article “this is why kids need to code” by Doug Belshaw promotes coding because it is learning another language; if you can code you can speak machine language and this offers a different understanding of the world. He notes that it allows learners to gain confidence and problem-solve. I can attest to the problem-solving. This is no simple task but I think kids would be motivated to fix their own problems because of the end result. I mean, how cool would it be to say you coded your own website? I think this highlights that learning is a difficult, yet worthwhile, process. Learning can be frustrating but working towards that ah-ha moment is a special moment!
I could also see coding being taught as an extracurricular activity. Maybe for those who are not a “sports” person or into band or an SLC-type leadership group. Or maybe for a kid who is a “sports” person but wants to broaden their knowledge and try new things.
Is scratch important to me?
As an unknown in my life, scratch meant nothing to me before today. I think I would have to get a lot more comfortable with it before using it in my classroom. However, I can see the benefits to it and how it could engage various multiple intelligences. I think this program reminds me that we are preparing students for jobs and an economy that aren’t even invented yet, or in this case, that we do not fully know about yet. Since it is our job to prepare them for this global and technological economy, it is our job to try to stay current and take risks. I’d be willing to try this however, I am not sure how it connects directly to the curriculum? Any thoughts?