How I Use It
I used scratch in my 7th grade class as an extension to a lesson on programming. Every student was asked to make a very simple project, but many of them chose to make elaborately designed video games. I was amazed at how many students loved the challenge of making something their own even though they had very little instruction on how to do so. I showed students the interface and showed them the names of each part, but the only instruction I offered was to use the resources you have to figure it out. Many of them asked their neighbors questions and a few looked up videos online as a tutorial. One student said “This assignment was important because it taught me how to teach myself to do something”. Another student wished there were directions that showed up on the screen when it opened. In the new online version there are directions in the program.
This programming tool is great for kids to gain experience with interactive design, or it can provide an opportunity for them to expand their programming and reasoning skills exponentially. For students that don’t naturally jump in and explore things, the initial interface can be frustrating. With a few brief tutorials, many of them jump on board and are excited to create more. On the other hand, for GT students, video game enthusiasts, and graphic artists this program has endless possibilities.
The new online version means a download is not required, and has added some new features. I like that it is still free and free of ads. Students say that because it is online it lags if your internet speed is not great. They prefer the download version.