|Website - https://scratch.mit.edu/|
|Subject : Multiple Subjects|
|Grade : K-12|
|Curriculum : Can be aligned|
|Language Support : English|
|Device Compatibility : Desktop, Tablet|
|Offline Access : Yes|
|OS Compatibility : Window Android,ChromeOS,macOS,Linux,Windows|
|Accessibility : Yes (to large extent No screen reader feature or keyboard navigation support.|
|License : CC-BY-SA-2.0|
|Topics : Creativity and 21st century skills , Programming , Reasoning , Collaboration|
|Curator : Sadaqat Mulla, Diksha Rehal, Saurabh Thakur|
|Date of curation : 15 June 2020|
Scratch is a block-based visual programming language environment designed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, MIT USA. In the present times when computer literacy and programming skills have become very essential, Scratch provides a fun-filled way for anybody to learn to code from elementary school to college. More often to learn coding much emphasis is given to learning the syntax of a programming language. However, that is not the best way to learn coding. Coding is a process of performing a set of instructions which are logically written to provide a meaningful result. Logic, semantics and the process is more important than the syntax. Therefore, by making coding graphical and logical - through drag & drop blocks of code commands written in commonly understandable language Scratch keeps the focus on important gains that programming offers such as creativity, imagination, problem solving, debugging and ability to build projects.
Through a simple and intuitive environment, which can be accessed online as well as through offline apps for desktop and tablet devices, Scratch provides a digital micro-world where imagination is the limit! We can create a flying character , an artwork , a mathematical game, a science puzzle, an animated story or even a dream world . That is, Scratch can be creatively used in the teaching-learning of any subject. Scratch enabled learners to “think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century”.
Further, ScratchEd , is a dedicated online community of teachers and educators to share how Scratch can be used in the teaching-learning process, integrated with classroom practices, exchange resources, and ask questions. Teachers and educators from across geographies have shared thousands of activities developed for teaching and learning using Scratch on the forum. Teachers employ this tool to explain a range of curricular topics in mathematics, social sciences, teaching language and music. Some teachers even use it as a stepping stone before teaching advanced programming languages like HTML, Python and Java. Therefore, when young students do coding and make their own apps and animations they understand how computers and machines work. Having such a meta-cognitive understanding helps students learn digital literacy in an authentic way.
Along with a simple user interface Scratch also provides easy to understand video tutorials with examples which can be viewed even while coding on the Scratch studio. Therefore the entry point to use Scratch is very low - one need to only know basic computer operations. Scratch user interface is available in more than 40 languages and is being used by educational communities across the world.
Active Knowledge Making: To work with Scratch, learners need to actively do things - plan, develop logic, code, debug - which enable learners to build their knowledge and understanding.
Multimodal Meaning: Scratch allows expression of content and ideas in multiple forms such as graphics, animation, interactive simulation, game, music, artwork etcetera and therefore allows opportunities for multimodal representation and meaning making.
Collaboration: Collaboration and sharing is a key element while working with Scratch. The Scratch website not only provides a platform to code and create but also serves as a space where students can collaborate, discuss and share projects. Scratch allows users to remix different media including graphics, sound, and even different programs and hence provides a wide range of possibilities. The tool has features where one can collaborate with each other as well as remix other projects. Driven by strong ethical guidelines the community also provides discussion forum to share and seek feedback.
Accessibility: Currently the Scratch software does not seem to provide support for disabilities such as low vision and blindness through keyboard keyboard navigation and screen reader. There are efforts being made to add such features. However, accessible projects can be made using Scratch. Watch this video onhow to make accessible projects using scratch.
Adaptability: Scratch is highly adaptable. The tool can be used across subject domains. The tool also has features that allow modularity in the artefacts and projects such as remixing and studios. Hence, projects can be adapted to different contexts and remixed to create something new. For example on this page exemplar projects are thematically organized showing how educators are adapting Scratch to their own context and curriculum.
There are also various research publications available online on how Scratch is being used in educational settings.