Scratch is a fun tool to play with and the perfect way to get started with programming. In 2011, i was opportune to go for a workshop. Claudia Urrea was giving a section about how to make the cat produce sound. Someone accidently chose the “forever” block and the cat started making a loud “meow”, It was so funny that i almost broke my laptop screen. I went my back to school after a long week workshop, shared what happened to my classmates and they were all laughing.
But using scratch didn’t just made me a better person in my community but it also gave me the platform to reach out to others. Scratch transformed me into becoming a teacher.
Speaking from the African side, scratch has made a lot of impact to kids around Africa. Kids can now create their own cartoons and games.
We first learned about Scratch sometime around 2007 from a colleague of mine at Sun Microsystems, who was teaching his son to program.
My ten-year-old son was quite eager to learn about anything technical, so it seemed like a great fit. He adopted the handle Technoboy10, so it was indeed a great fit! He took to Scratch immediately. The program is so interactive and easy-to-use, but it was the safe and encouraging community interactions that really makes the difference. My son was learning key computing concepts through imitation, refactoring and sharing projects within that community. He also had incredible mentoring from experts, including Dr. Brian Harvey, Jens Mönig, and Dr. Dan Garcia.
Connor began experimenting with how to connect hardware and software and created a plugin for scratch to work with Sphero and other robots. It worked so well that starting at age 14, he presented and participated in panels at the Scratch Conferences in Barcelona, Boston, and Amsterdam.
He also moderated on the Scratch forums for several years.
Now he is studying Computer Science at the University of Colorado and has interned at MIT, LASP, and Left Hand Robotics!
I attribute much of his interests and success to Scratch. I tell everyone I meet with kids to check out this great program.
I’ve always been a voracious reader and as a Computing teacher I particularly enjoy reading about developments in Computing education in the UK and other countries. From the first time I read about and then saw Scratch in action I was hooked and excited by the possibilities. Here was an environment I could use to show them the power of creating programs that they could also be creative in!
Designing the Scratch Animation and Games programming sequences for Crieff High school pupils was the most fun I’ve had with curriculum development in a while. They were also regularly the biggest highlights for many pupils we surveyed at the end of the year!