Teacher Review for Scratch

Scratch is a perfect introduction to computational thinking.

Bill V.
Technology coordinator
Honey Creek Community School
Ann Arbor, MI
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My Grades 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
My Subjects Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I have used Scratch for the past 7 years in my technology classes for both elementary and middle school students. I've also taught afterschool workshops using it. I teach the basics of programming using Scratch, but after that it becomes a powerful general-purpose tool in their repertoire, allowing students to create animations, interactive stories, and serving as the backbone of creative technology, science, and engineering projects. As a project-based school, this is invaluable. I would like to do more work with Scratch to see it integrated across the curriculum, especially with math instruction. Its X/Y coordinate system and logic concepts are a good match.
My Take
Scratch is a perfect tool to get students started with computational thinking. Scratch really achieves what MIT Media Lab was hoping for when they designed it to have "a low floor (easy to get started with), a high ceiling (opportunities for increasingly complex projects over time), and wide walls (supporting many different types of projects, so that people with different interests and learning styles can all become engaged). (1) With the new version of Scratch enabling student access through a browser and the new Studio tool, it makes it even easier for students to share their work and collaborate. The only real key piece missing, at this point, is the ability for teachers to set up a whole class, grade, or school with Scratch accounts (at this point, there are no tools to do this, but it's being planned for). http://web.media.mit.edu/~mres/scratch/scratch-cacm.pdf