How I Use It
I have used Scratch with my students in my enrichment classes. These students are students who are operating at higher academic achievement levels. Scratch is an easy coding program for kids that is easy to access and contains tutorials to help students learn basic coding skills using a blockly platform. The program is hosted by MIT and encourages young students and older students/adults to learn how to code easily. The blockly program makes it easy to create all sorts of things and students can see the code they have written by looking under the blockly "hood". Scratch is easy and fun but does require students to have basic reading skills. It does seem to be difficulty for younger students and students with learning differences as you need to be able to read the blocks that control your avatar or sprite. Also, some of the higher ordered problem solving skills that are available to higher leveled students are not available to students with special needs and learning differences, so I would suggest it be used with students who perform at higher levels or that are in the upper grade levels.
I love Scratch and the students love to create using it. It is an easy coding tool that teaches students the basics of computer programming and the problem solving that is required to learn how to code.It is a great computer science teaser and my students often become interested in other coding programs because of their introduction to Scratch (i.e. Tynker, Hopscotch, etc.) I love that there are tutorials available for students to use and am super excited that they have created a Scratch Jr. program student for younger grades and students with learning differences. Currently, Scratch Jr. is only available for IOS devices, but I am in hopes that they will release a version for PC/Android in the near future.