We have had a quick little “look see” at Scratch: a programming environment developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab.
Scratch allows the students to snap together little pieces of programming to control and mix graphics, animations, music and sound. Students can make animations and games and there are lots of ideas and projects to look through on their website.
I think we could do some really interesting things with Scratch, but the kids weren’t too sure what it “was for”.
So I have set a challenge to my class: “What can you do with Scratch?”
Because I want the kids to be able to use Scratch as they see fit, to use it as a tool to help in their construction of their learning, I plan to have a short, sharp burst of exploration for a week or two – where the kids will be able to play with the programming tools to see what they can do.
In this initial period they will be encouraged to use aspects of one of the curriculum areas we are working on at this time in their exploration of Scratch. I’m hoping that this will enable the kids to have a basic idea of the capabilities of Scratch, and it will become another tool that is available to use when presenting their learning at various times throughout the year.