Teach 21st Century Skills with Scratch!

Thanks to Wes Fryer for his tip about Scratch, a new freely downloadable programming language based on Sqeak that will allow your students to create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- all poised to share across the Web! Now we're talking!

According to Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Professor of Learning Research and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Laboratory, the name "Scratch" is a play on words based on the Hip Hop notion of scratching... also referencing the idea of mixing or blending creative ideas together in order to then produce a new and fresh idea or concept. I just watched the overview video on this tool and am literally buzzing with excitement! Check it out!

Best app I've seen so far in terms of supporting student exploration in 21st century skill development. Basically, kids can explore and experiment with creating their own programs from a visual object basis rather than having to know a lot of code! I tried Jasper's "Grow a Tree" project. It was his second Scratch project using sound. Took me 3 tries to grow my tree... first 2 died. Sorry, Jasper!

To get a better idea of how Scratch works, watch the following "Intro to Scratch" Video created by a young scratch user!

Mitchel Resnick offers a great 'effects' tutorial here.

Can't wait to get started using Scratch with my kids! Can you?

Views: 54

Comment by Christine Southard on July 27, 2007 at 5:25am
I attended a Tapped IN session yesterday that discussed the Scratch & Squeak applications. I didn't fully understand how I would use the programs with my 5th grade students b/c I didn't have a full grasp of how the programs worked. Thanks for sharing the tutorials, b/c I need to play with them more this summer. How do you think you would you use these programs w/ your middle school students?


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