Over the past two Wednesdays I took a fabulous class with technology diva Freda Williams in which I learned the basics of Scratch, a fun and fabulous new Web 2.0 tool. Scratch was created to teach the basics of programming to kids.
Scratch was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Intel Foundation, and MIT Media Lab research consortia.
You can download it (for free, of course) from the Scratch website and start teaching it to yourself, or go to a great website called Learn Scratch that helps you learn how to use it. The Scratch website also contains a gallery of ideas that you and your students can download and remix into new programs. Scratch programming language enables you to create your own games, music, art, interactive stories, and animations.
Once you finish your creations, you can share them on the web, where you can receive an embed code that will enable you to post your product anywhere else you wish to share it. Just imagine using this new tool to teach critical thinking skills to your students! Scratch can help you develop twenty-first century learning skills in your students. As they learn essential mathematical and computational skills, they will gain a deeper understanding of the process of design and become more highly engaged in the learning process.