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Ites Scratch Software Review
 

Ites Scratch Software Review

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Software Review of LOGO-based programming language Scratch for use in k-12 schools

Software Review of LOGO-based programming language Scratch for use in k-12 schools

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    Ites Scratch Software Review Ites Scratch Software Review Presentation Transcript

    • SCRATCH: LOGO-based problem-solving language (scratch.mit.edu) Colleen Ites Software Evaluation CI 505 – Fall 2008
    • What is it?
      • SCRATCH is:
        • A new programming language that makes it easy to create interactive stories, games, music, and animations—and share those creations in an on-line community.
        • LOGO-based software
        • Language that applies mathematical concepts in a concrete way
        • Software that teaches, incorporates, and applies problem-solving skills
      • SCRATCH is an interactive collaborative Web-based language program hosted and maintained by MIT.
      • Users download the OS for free, create their own programs, upload those programs back to the website, and receive feedback and program edits from other users.
      www.scratch.mit.edu
    • Sit back and watch
      • The link below is to a vimeo clip showing the Scratch process:
      • The link below is to a vimeo clip showing an overview of Scratch:
    • Creating an account
      • Creating an account:
        • Students and teachers can create their own accounts on the website; created accounts are designed to be used by students under 14 and are fairly secure
        • Once an account is created, users can use the hosting site to organize & keep their projects, create galleries of other projects they like, or create neighborhoods with other users
        • Users can also download other projects previously posted to the site
    • Sample sign up process
    • Adding projects to the hosting site
      • After creating their own projects users can upload them to the hosting site
        • This allows other users to try the project, download it, and make changes
        • Anytime changes are made to a project, the user is expected to give credit to the original creator and create a new name for the project (i.e. Butterflies should be re-uploaded after changes as Butterflies 2.0 or Butterflies Remix)
    • Upload process back to website
    • Sample user home page
    • Links on the home site for help
      • On the Scratch website there are several ways to receive help
        • Support: a discussion board for postings from members regarding problems; postings are categorized by type and allow for feedback from all users and system maintenance personnel.
        • Forum: communication board shared with all users
    • Other sources
      • How to Get Started: .pdf file giving novices an idea of how the OS works ( http://info.scratch.mit.edu/Support/FAQ/Scratch_Website_FAQ#StartWeb )
      • Reference Guide: .pdf file for all levels explaining how each component of the OS interacts with the others ( http://info.scratch.mit.edu/@api/deki/files/568/=ScratchReferencev13.pdf )
      • Scratch FAQ: link within the website showing how to manage user home page and navigate the website ( http:// info.scratch.mit.edu/Support/FAQ/Scratch_Website_FAQ )
    • Using the O/S: This is the new project page This box is where you place your scripts (code) taken from the box on the left. The box to the top right is where the sprite (the Turtle is now Scratch the Cat) will complete the action you script. The box on the bottom right shows you which variable you are manipulating
    • Edit your sprite You can edit the appearance of Scratch, or choose to import a new sprite from stock choices
    • Costume choices
    • New sprite: palm tree Once you find a sprite you like, click OK
    • Now you have 2 sprites You can click on each sprite and move it wherever you like it Note the x-axis and y-axis map; this can be very important for sprite placement Your code will be for each individual sprite or background
    • Let the games begin! To begin, you must select a control (top hat). The easiest is the green flag. Under that you put in your motion blocks. Only certain blocks can interlock with others; there are a variety of shapes and interlocks to be found
    • One sprite too many; get rid of it
    • Stamping - give it a shot
    • Draw instead of stamp Project begins to create a spiral (like connecting ends of a slinky) Project continues the spiral Final spiral complete
    • Change the background Click “edit” and choose a pre-made background or design your own
    • Determine if you need to move the sprite
    • Add sound Click “Import” and choose your sounds from the files given. You may choose more than one & try to sample them together.
    • Put it all together
    • Cooperative and collaborative
      • After my students worked with Scratch, they were asked to respond on blogs about their experiences. Links to their posts are below:
      • http://8ites.blogspot.com/2008/09/scratch-that-problem-solving-itch.html
      • http://explorescitech.blogspot.com/
    • Samples of student feedback
      • “ Scratch is a really graet expierience. i loved messing around with characters and objects. What i thought was really cool was that you can get new sprites using the internet. this program was so great i dont have any dislikes. it was a little confusing in the beginning but it got much easier in the end. i would recomend to use the program first. i would've liked more instuction on how to move because thats why it was a little confusing. Scratch is an awesome expirience and i would recomend it to anybody!!! / Max M. “
      • “ I really liked the fact that we got to express and use creatrive in scratch! I don't really have any dislikes once you knew what to do it was really fun!I actually would reccomend this website to my friends and others.Ya I sort of would of like a direct instruction but learning as I go was exciting. Ya it helped me alot in promblem slolving and thats what I liked about it! - Christine L. “
      • “ I thought the Scratch program was confusing at first. I strongly despised having to have every last detail exactly perfect. I would recommend that future users explore the website first, then learn all the mechanics of how it works. I'm sort of a "learn as you go" person, but I think that it would work fine both ways. - Emelia “
      • “ that it looked fun and cool but it also looked difficult. it was very difficult. it almost made me feel dumb haha. when i was doing my project i would get one part but then i put another part with it and it wouldn't work and i would have to start over. another confusing thing that happened to me is that i wanted to duplicate it, so i did. it worked on one of my sprints worked but the other one wouldn't even though it had the same script. it hurt because it made me even more confused and made me feel even more stupid. yes mrs. ites's examples did help because i learned by watching her correct her failures and listened to the questions she asked herself so she could correct her faults.
      • ~ Katie C “
      • “ I thought that the scratch program was very fun. I kind of had a idea of what I was doing going into the project. BUt, I still had asome problems. Over all I thought the program was very fun. To fun for school actually. Anthony D “
    • A few examples from username 901
        • View my program examples:
        • Costume movement – variables
        • Spiral example
        • Growing spirals
        • Nature walk
        • View student examples:
        • Katie T
        • Jeff M
        • Kelcie H
        • Mary Jess H
    • Pros of Scratch
      • Student-centered, cooperative learning
      • FREE
      • Promotes problem-solving using real-world applications
      • Allows for student choice and creativity
      • Allows for collaborative learning with users around the world via the hosting site
      • Designed for differentiation: varying skill levels built into program
      • Internet based, so can be used on at home or school
    • Cons of Scratch
      • IT staff may need to create / maintain upload / download connection to hosting site (may have port issues)
      • Students can fixate on a specific game project from site & become “lazy” problem-solvers
      • Works best with teacher modeling; teacher needs some level of understanding / competency with program
      • Programs saved to portable devices often are seen as corrupted by host site and can’t be uploaded
      • Designed as free-ware, so users need to watch for version updates; older updates won’t allow uploads to hosting site
    • Resources
      • SCRATCH
        • http://scratch.mit.edu
        • Mitchel Resnick has spearheaded the development of Scratch with the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Intel Foundation, Nokia, and the MIT Media Lab research consortia.
        • Is gaining a presence in popular media
          • See news clips about Scratch
        • Find out more about using Scratch in the classroom
    • Questions
      • Has anyone used this site?
      • Although it seems to be a “math” site, would you use it elsewhere in your classroom? Why/ why not?
      • What do you see as the benefits / detractions of this site if it was used in schools?
      • How would you assess use of this site in a classroom? Would that assessment change based on student age or class content? Should it?
      • How do you recommend teachers gain proficiency in using this site? Do you think teacher modeling is necessary to best use the site in instruction?