In my most recent blog post, I shared information with you all on different programs, books, and other resources for teaching kids or introducing them to computer coding. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting more specific information to give you more insight on what some of the resources have to offer. In this day and age it is imperatiove that our children have the tools that they need to be successful in their future. My goal is to share as much information as I can, to help you and children, so that they can be as creative, critical, and imaginative learners as possible. If we introduce our children to STEAM/STEM (science, technology, engineering, (art), and math) concepts early in life, while they are virtually learning new things every single day, the possibilities for where they can go and things they can do in the world will be endless!
The first program that I want to tell you more about it Scratch. I discovered Scratch from an online kid’s magazine called Kids, Code, and Computer Science Magazine . Scratch has been praised as a fun and easy way to get young people into learning more about computer coding. Rahni has taken a great liking to creating and remixing projects on the online community, which pleases me greatly. The website is designed simple enough for children who are pretty comfortable with electronic devices, but they may still need assistance until they become more acclaimated or confidant with the projects. Aslso, a parent or guardian should take the time to read over the FAQ and create the actual account as Scratch is an online community open to people of all ages.
What is Scratch?
Scratch is a programming language created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT media Lab with the mission of engaging young people to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively essential skills for life in the 21st century.
Here are some of the books that I suggested in an earlier post about coding. These books are specifically for Scrtach.
Scratch Programming in easy steps by Sean McManus
Scratch for Kids for Dummies by Derek Breen
Who can use Scratch?
Anyone interested in learning more about computer coding. Though Scratch was designed especially around young people ages 8-16, many people of all ages are learning and contributing in the Scratch community. Many adults are using Scratch to not only teach their kids about coding, but also themselves. There is also Scratch Jr, aimed at children ages 5-7.
What can you do in Scratch?
In the Scratch online community, or with the Scratch offline editor, you can program your own games, stories, or other interactive media. There are many projects available for the Scratch community to “remix” and view to get ideas from. You can create projects within a project editor using building blocks of scripts, costumes, and sounds. The blocks are codes that tell the program what to do and how to do it. Users can modify or even create their own blocks to fit the project. The only limit is imagination.
How much does it cost to join the Scratch community?
It’s free! The Scratch project receives funding from many foundations such as National Science Foundation, Intel Foundation, LEGO Foundation, and more. Donations are always welcome to support the project.
How much prior knowledge of coding is necessary to participate and create in the Scratch community?
None! Scratch is for learning and creating. Children and adults using Scratch can learn at their own pace and have fun while doing so. Also, there are plenty of projects created by other Scratchers for you to explore, giving you ideas on how to execute your project. In the online community, there are forums and a “Getting Started with Scratch” project that walks you through an interactive animation step by step. Once you get the hang of it, or decide that you want to learn more, there are other resources such as books and You Tube videos.
For more information, please visit Scratch.mit.edu
Follow Scratch on Twitter @scratch
ScratchED online community for Scratch educators
PCMag Scratch Review