Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Middle school students support Scratch 2.0

Seventh-grade members of our ITeam have been creating Scratch Projects for several months. The projects started simply and have progressively increased in complexity. I also see them apply concepts that they are learning in math (e. g. x- y-coordinate systems) to a context for which they have great affinity, game development. They are spending considerable amounts of time exploring and creating projects outside of school.

Scratch Project

Look at this gallery of projects to see more examples:

We discussed the plans to develop Scratch 2.0 and one student proposed development of capacity similar to Build Your Own Blocks (BYOB) that several advanced users of Scratch have been developing and evaluating: When I showed him BYOB, he downloaded the image and created test blocks with interesting properties. He created an arrow control with a rate parameter and discovered that a negative value for the parameter inverted the senses of up/down and left/right arrows as well as controlling the rate.

When I showed the Scratch programmers the Scratch entry in the DML Competition site and explained the rationale for comments from users, they considered adding a comment. But, ultimately they chose to create new Scratch projects instead. They are preparing to work with middle school technology teachers at the District Summer Technology Institute to incorporate Scratch into their classes. We all look forward to using Scratch 2.0.

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