We students created an animation using the technology Scratch. In the process, as I instructed my ‘sprite’ to rotate, travel in any direction and speak, I realized I was computer programming, me?! In his Tedtalk, Nicholas Negroponte says emphatically, “learn to programme“. Using Scratch, teachers and students can do just that while also developing nine learning skills.
Moving the sprite up, down, backwards or forwards meant understanding x and y axis. Students could create cause and effect between two sprites, adding music or emotion. Their animations can grow to be as complex as their knowledge permits. It’s a multi-layered learning experience.
This short animation (by a generation X user) is the outcome of eight hours work becoming familiar with Scratch’s software. It was a steep learning curve. However, the reward is evident in learning to programme. Another use of Scratch is as a summative assessment tool. Here is an animation from a peer involving maths sums which could potentially change as the school year progresses.
Interestingly, the Australian Curriculum (A.C.) stakeholders anticipate Scratch being part of the A.C., involving algorithms. For my part, I would embrace and use this technology with it’s valuable learning potential.
Negroponte, N. (2007, December). One Laptop per Child, two years on. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_negroponte_on_one_laptop_per_child_two_years_on
Cowman, R. (2014, April). EDP101 – Task 6 [Animation]. Retrieved from http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/20543412/#player
Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2013, November). Digital Technologies Update. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/7_November_2013_-_Google_Summit_-_Digital_Technologies_update_-_Julie_King.pdf#search=digital%20technology
Betcher, C. (2010, October). Scratch sprite [Image]. Retrieved from http://chrisbetcher.com/2010/10/teaching-kids-to-think-using-scratch/