Teacher Review For Scratch

Open-ended drag and drop coding introduces Digital Citizenship & "Maker" mentality

Shannon W.
Media specialist/librarian
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating 5
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
General
How I Use It
Scratch provides a simple introduction to 2D object oriented programming. I've had students choose to animate key scenes in a book or text using both word bubbles and the simple audio editing tools built in; to create and play games relating to books they've read, and to design and build their own versions of favorite games- and original games as well. The opportunity and ability to create their own games and animations helps students think more critically about the media (apps, games, animations/video) they consume, as they deconstruct what works and what they like. Students love how easy it is to share their projects with others in the Scratch community, and receiving feedback from users. As they see their own projects remixed, they receive first-hand experience as publishers having their work used by others. (Students may choose NOT to share to the Scratch community, if they prefer not to have their projects viewed or remixed by others.). A great introduction to intellectual property issues.
My Take
The new Scratch 2.0 online has some really nice upgrades to the 1.4 download version. Students can create and/or customize their own game or animation assets. Assets ("sprites") are controlled through simple drag and drop blocks of code. All projects shared are shared with a Creative Commons share alike license and can be examined at at the code and asset level, remixing encouraged. A really creative and constructive way to explore copyright issues, especially "transformativeness."