How I Use It
I used scratch as a unit in an introductory programming course win the 9th grade. Scratch provides an environment that lends itself to “tinkering”. The drag and drop nature of the blocks moves the focus away from messy syntax and allows for making modifications quickly. It needs little experience from both teacher and student and is designed in an intuitive way that students can learn at their own pace, with little or no help from the teacher or other students. Students can complete programs, such as creating an animation of their own name and these programs advance in levels as students gain skills.
I like the ease at which students take to this program. My 9th grade class had little or no issues in following the on screen instructions in built into the scratch program to create animations of their names and their own games. Scratched.com was a great resources for finding lesson plans and ideas from other educators and many I integrated into my own lessons. The scratch program itself, in my opinion, is more suited to the elementary and middle school age group, but certainly has applications for teaching algorithms etc in the HS age group.