In class this week, we looked at a kid-friendly computer programming website that allows you to create your own videos, animations, cards. What is this wonderful program? Scratch. A wide variety of teacher and students use this program for class presentations, projects, experiments, or simply just for fun. It is a great tool that allows you to let your imagination run free and it also gives you the chance to build a new work inspired by another project, allowing you to make a remix, with your own touch! I can see how many educators and learners will like this, but personally, I do not like it all that much. Why? Well I will give you my own opinion, if you have suggestions, feel free to comment down below. Maybe I am still “too new” with the program to be able to grasp the whole thing, maybe I need to do additional exploring with the application when time permits, but this is the situation here and now.
I started out by trying the program without signing up, which I have to admit is a nice thing, as you can try it to determine how you like it before having to sign up and download the program to have access to more options. Using the “Tips” option, I tried to explore all the scripts, the costumes and the sounds. Each of these categories contain elements that allow you to modify your “Sprite”, what your “Sprite” is doing and where it is located (background). The scripts section is the one where all the move programming, sound programming and effects happen. After trying out a few things after the first 10 minutes, I thought I was alright to try to make a nice and short little animation that consisted of penguins dancing around to techno music in the desert. I got the background, I got my blue and my pink penguin, I now need to make them move and bounce to techno music. This proved to be a very difficult step, and all I was able to do was to have my penguins go across the screen, horizontally, once. After spending additional minutes trying to make it work, I decided to give up and start a new animation with a monkey in a city. This try seemed to work out a tad better for me. Same original idea of a character dancing and bouncing to techno music, different animal, different background. This time I followed the tips section all over again and was able to have my monkey turn in a clockwise motion around the setting, really fast, while the techno beat looped in the back. I could not figure out how to have my monkey only go from one side of the screen, to the other, without flipping in circle, only bouncing. Maybe I just need to try once more and put additional efforts into making this animation, but I did not find this program did it for me. I wish I had a video to show you what I had accomplished, but I forgot to save the thing.
In conclusion, I believe that for someone who has the patience and grasps a little better computer programming, then this is definitely a tool you might want to use for classroom projects or just to have your student learn about computer programming while having fun. If you have any suggestions on how the many uses of Scratch, tips or just general comments, please leave a comment in the comment section! Here is a Scratch project you could do: a fun video game (I could not even pass the GREEN, too hard haha).