Digital Technologies- Scratch

Scratch digital technologies- Week 1, 2 & 3

Before starting this course I had never heard of or worked with a program similar to scratch. Programs such as these would be excellent in a classroom to promote thinking skills and cater for multiple intelligences.

In the first week of working with this program our task was to familiarise ourselves with the program. Find out how the sprite moved, experiment with various controls, change the sprite, and repeat patterns. We began to program the sprite to complete simple controls like making shapes, moving in certain directions and adding effects into the sequence.

Further Information on how to get started with scratch can be found here: http://info.scratch.mit.edu/sites/infoscratch.media.mit.edu/docs/ScratchGettingStartedv14.pdf

scratch1This week’s activities of completing shapes and commandments directly relates to the year 3 & 4 strand of digital technologies processes and production skills within the Draft Australian Technology Curriculum (2013). The curriculum elaboration outlines for students to design and implement simple visual programs with user input and branching (ACARA, 2013). Within this elaboration students are asked to experiment with different ways of instructing a program to make a choice (ACARA, 2013); telling a program what to do and when to do it. This program can also be used for higher year levels and still align for the curriculum however, this week’s activities directly related to that of the year 3 strand.

Through the activities completed this week I have found that this program would be great for challenging students to use higher order thinking to create various commandments. Once they are familiar with the program and how it all works you could give the student a question or instruction and they would have to create that situation with the sprite. It would reinforce shapes, measurement, plotting/positioning and giving instructions.

scratch2

Week 2’s task of completing a race track and week’s 3 task of creating and playing ping pong would align with the Year 5-6 technology draft curriculum strand of digital technologies processes and production skills (2013).  The curriculum elaboration outlines for students to design and implement digital solutions using visual programs with user input, branching and iteration (ACARA, 2013).  Within this elaboration students are asked to create a simple computer game that requires the user to input instructions using a visual programming language (ACARA, 2013).

Through these challenge of completing a race track and ping pong I found that you are able to change the same task to cater for all abilities while still requiring them to program and control the sprite. A less/more winding track, adding effects, adding a second car/ball are all some options for modifying the task.

scratch3

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority. (2013). Draft Technology Curriculum. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Static/docs/Technologies/Draft%20Australian%20Curriculum%20Technologies%20-%20February%202013.pdf

 

Scratch Digital Technologies- Week 4 & 5

Our task for weeks 4 & 5 was that of extending our knowledge of scratch and computer programming by engaging with an exploration program with scratch.

The exploration project that I chose to explore further, was that of the car game previously mentioned and add multiple cars (for multiple players) and obstacles.

In this game the cars are controlled by the keyboard arrows and WASD keys. Two players go head to head and complete the tracks and avoid the obstacles (orange blobs). Once the players complete the track a new level would appear and increase in difficulty.

scratch4

This activity would align with the draft technology curriculum strand of digital technology processes and production skills. The year 7-8 strand of developing and modifying programs with user interfaces involving branches, repetition or iteration and subprograms in a general purpose programming language is where this activity lies within the curriculum (ACARA, 2013). The matching elaboration outlines students to develop and modify digital solutions by implementing instructions contained in algorithms through programs (ACARA, 2013).

This activity would be great for students’ creativity and critical thinking, encouraging them to think of challenging tracks and how to make the tracks harder as the player’s progress.

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority. (2013). Draft Technology Curriculum. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Static/docs/Technologies/Draft%20Australian%20Curriculum%20Technologies%20-%20February%202013.pdf

 

Scratch Digital Technologies- Week 11 & 12

The week’s task was all about exploring other digital technology programs that are available to use with students. These programs included those of computer programming, web building/ programming, games development, office and other tools, designing for mobile devices and programs similar to those of scratch.

Here are my Top 3 choices for students to use.

  • Hackety Hack (Computer Programming)
  • Monkey Jam (Stop motion animation- office and other tools)
  • Globaloria (Games development)

Hackety Hack- http://hackety.com/

Hackety Hack is a site that teaches the basic of computer programming from the ground up! They assume no previous knowledge of computer programming and start from the start and go from there. This site teaches the ruby programming language and uses the shoes toolkit making it fun and easy to build graphical interfaces.

1

Monkey Jam- http://monkeyjam.org/

Monkey Jam is a digital stop motion animation program. You can use images and sound files from your computer or import from camera or other source and organise as separate frames of and join them together to create a movie (AVI file format). 2

Globaloria- http://www.globaloria.org/

Globaloria is an educational game design program which allows students to interact in a social learning environment with other schools/classes across the world.  Globaloria gets students interests and imaginations as they learn to design and program their own educational games through a mix of teacher-led instructions, team-based learning and online networking with experts and peers.

3

 

Digital Technologies- Week 13, 14 &15

Over these 3 weeks the task was to choose one of the previously explored alternatives to scratch and come up with a lesson/activity using it. The program I have chosen to explore further is that of Monkey Jam. This program is the stop motion animation program.

This site provides various example videos of what stop motion animation looks like in the final version. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/31/50-incredible-stop-motion-videos/

The activity that I have chosen to allow to students to explore and create is that of a car race. Using a variety of still images they will have to create a video of cars racing around a track and eventually one winning the race.

This is an example of a stop motion car race (However students may not be this advanced, they will more likely just get cars to do a circuit with less difficulty).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiWRwhuwt0A

This activity of completing a stop motion animation of a car race would align with the year 5-6 technology draft curriculum strand of digital technologies processes and production skills (ACARA, 2013). The curriculum elaborations outline for students to experimenting with different programming options that involve repeat instructions and designing and creating a solution that repeats a motion, for example creating an animation that repeats a movement (ACARA, 2013).

Through the activities completed this week I have found that this program would be great for challenging students to use higher order thinking to create various animations. Students would have to think carefully about how much they move their objects for each photo (what will give the best overall look).

This task also allows for challenging students; a more complex track, more cars to include, a certain amount of pictures for the animation or including obstacles on the track.

One Response to Digital Technologies- Scratch

  1. Hi,

    It sounds like you have had a good learning experience with using computer programming tools and then taking this knowledge and applying it in a primary school context. It is good that you have justified your activities by linking them to the new Australian curriculum and explaining what year levels they would work best for. It is amazing the amount of new knowledge that can be acquired over a short period of time! Thank you for sharing your experiences with Scratch and other programs on computer programming. I will remember these programs when considering how to integrate digital technologies into everyday class work.

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