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Scratch

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My Story

I attended at lllinois Computing Educators conference in February. Since I had two of my students present with me, (Classroom 2.0: Create, Share, Post, and Comment) concerning the Vermont MIDI Project, we also attended an one-hour presentation by Mitch Resnick, from MIT, who was the keynote speaker of the day. My students immediately were engaged with his new technology and online program, scratch. I, too was excited about his “cricket” programming and this “scratch” program.

Then, I was contacted my NICE (Northern Illinois Computing Educators) about the upcoming presentation I was presenting flash at and they couldn’t find anyone to present scratch. I have many students doing flash, and two students even have a website with games and tutorials, www.lazertron.net so, that was covered, but only my two students that attended the conference even knew about scratch, and they liked composing, not animation. Realizing I only had three weeks to get some students to:

  1. Learn the program
  2. Create files using the program
  3. Present the program to other “techie” teachers
  4. Post on the website

I took on the challenge, emailed three students, detailing the presentation possibility. All three, not only learned the program, their presentation was terrific and took it to the next level, by creating games.

Here are some files online:

Magna Balls

Sub Defender

Then, one student downloaded code from Sub Defender and created

Warner, the Wizard

In all technology, since I am a music teacher, I want music surrounding all projects. That is their next challenge, to compose original music for their games. I know they will do just that.

It just goes back to one of my old posts: Not will you teach me, but will you let me. Just let your students go, and see what happens. I now have scratch on all the computers in the MIDI lab, and can’t wait to show my other students. Oh, by the way- it is FREE and cross-platform.

Scratch, the cool features:

  1. Free download
  2. Cross-Platform
  3. Post files on website, share and comment
  4. All data on files open to all, so others can download your scripts and change any of the “code”
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