Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Scratch-learning about programming

For the last few weeks my Year 8 students have been creating their own animations using Pivot Stickman, a very simple freely available animation software. They have created some really cool little animations. I'm going to up load some of them to this blog over the next few days to showcase them. Now it's time to move on and to me it seemed a logical step to introduce Scratch. Now I'm guessing that the purists will probably say that Scratch is not truly a programming language and I am willing to admit that I have such little idea of programming that I couldn't explain it or defend it at all. But to me and my students that doesn't matter. What does matter is exposing my students to a new learning experience that offers a way to manipulate, create, design and compute. According to the website Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art . Yesterday in my Year 8 IT class we began our journey with Scratch. I'm really excited to see what they will achieve. At this stage we are in the 'sandpit' just playing around with it discovering just what it can do. Over the next few weeks we will use some of the tutorials that have been uploaded to Teachertube and we'll also look at many of the examples that are on the official Scratch website. Can't wait.


Billgx said...

I think it is great you are teaching programming concepts. So what if it is not a "pure" programming language? Sometimes, if the first exposure to programming is a "pure" language, the experience is unpleasant and unlikely to hook them into learning more. You are on the right track!

Something else to try, if you have not already is Alice, available for free download at

I'm eager to see how your students do with these sort of programming projects!

M Meijers said...

Scratch is a fantastic introduction to programming - not to mention great fun to use. Feel free to use any of my resources for it (and more) at with your class.