Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Learning How to Program with Scratch

Learning How to Program with Scratch

If you are interested in learning to code and create with Scratch, here are a few resources that will help you on your journey:

Check out the ScratchEd online community for Educators, the Scratch curriculum guide provides an introduction to creative computing with using a design-based learning approach and the Resource page has tutorials, webinars and a getting started guide

2) Getting Started with Scratch
Students (age 8 and up) learn the basics of programming with Scratch by making the cat (called a Sprite) move, make a sound, change colour, and dance. They learn how to add an additional sprite, add music and a new background to the stage. It is important that students follow the steps in the animations and read the instructions as they progress or it can become confusing. Once students are comfortable with the basics they might want to try exploring projects other students have created and thinking about how they can rework or add to them. Or challenging themselves to find a coding error in Debug It - Week 1 and Debug It - Week 2

3) Scratch and the Hour of Code
Get creative with coding and learn how to animate your name, design a holiday card or create a pong game. 

If you have access to iPads, try and learn with Scratch through the webbrowser (no app required). I first came across SnapCoding on Brian Aspinall’s website along with a variety of additional coding resources.  Brian has created a variety of video tutorials using Scratch on his YouTube channel. Here is an example:

The Scratch Jr App is free on iPads and Android tablets designed for students aged 5-7. When you first open the app you can select the house to start a new project, the question mark to see an intro video and sample projects or the book in the top right corner to see the guides. Check out the Scratch Jr website for activity ideas and copies of the guides

6) Learning How to Program with Scratch by Pluralsight
Created by Dr. Joe Hummel, this free sequence of tutorials shows videos and gives tasks that learners can complete individually or in pairs. This is a comprehensive program for upper junior and intermediate students to work through collaboratively that reviews the basics of Scratch and coding. It begins by talking about why we should learn programming and asking you to download Scratch to your computer. If you are using a school computer Scratch is already downloaded but I recommend using the online version of Scratch. If you want students to save their work they will need to create an account. This is a great opportunity to review digital citizenship and online safety.