In our seminar last week, we briefly looked at a programming software called Scratch on the iPads. This week, we developed this further by exploring Scratch on the computer. The program is free to use at https://scratch.mit.edu and is designed for children to use as it simplifies coding into blocks that are easy to use.
The children have a vast range of different characters to choose from and keep them engaged.The variety also allows for the software to be linked to the curriculum, for example, when studying the ocean as a habitat, the children can create an ocean themed Scratch animation using the different sprites. choose a ‘sprite’ and give commands for the sprite to carry out, such as ‘move 10 spaces’ and ‘turn 90 degrees’.
The computer program gives a wider range of functions to use, such as making sounds or changing costumes, whereas the app ‘Scratch Jr’ is more restricted. However, the app is a good starting point to introduce children to the software and to coding.
The children also have the option to change the background that their sprites are on. This can help when the children are creating their own stories or habitats as they can either choose a background, upload an image, or design their own background using the paint software embedded in the scratch program.
These websites offer a range of ideas for using scratch in the classroom: