Technology for Learners
Fun & Simple Coding Projects with Scratch
Author: Rick Phelan
Scratch is one of the world’s largest free coding platforms for children and teens. It was created by the MIT Media Lab to help young people learn to, “… think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively.” Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages. Schools looking to initiate coding activities have a valuable tool with applications for beginners through advanced users. Different subject area specialists can apply Scratch to support interdisciplinary learning projects- you don’t have to be a computer science teacher to use it.
Mitch Resnick one of the Scratch creators, shares his perspective on the value of coding and creating with Scratch in this TEDTalk:
Some of the reasons educators put forth implementing Scratch with their students include:
- Creativity: Students obtain tools to creatively express ideas for personally meaningful projects.
- Collaboration: Scratch is a great platform for students to work together on learning coding, sharing and remixing. The Scratch interface has sharing resources and bulletin boards offering collaboration opportunities for students in the next classroom and across the world.
- Problem Solving: Students learn perseverance skills through playful experimentation and critical thinking.
Scratch runs on Chromebooks along with Mac and Windows computer systems.
To get started with a Scratch project open your web browser and go to: http://scratch.mit.edu
Click on the “Create” button to start a new project.
Students can setup an account which will save projects. If you don’t create an account and log-in, work will not be saved.
A helpful guide for getting started with Scratch is provided here: https://wiki.scratch.mit.edu/wiki/Getting_Started_with_Scratch
Fun and Simple Projects
The Scratch team at MIT recently published a set of activity cards focused on beginning level students. The cards offer interesting projects in a step by step format that illustrate how to use Scratch. Projects include:
- Create a Story
- Make Music
- Let's Dance
- Pong Game
- Virtual Pet
- Fashion Game
- Animate Your Name
- Make It Fly
Access these cards along with others here: https://scratch.mit.edu/info/cards/