Friday, 18 November 2016

Scratch That Itch

The Hour of Code has led us into exploring Scratch as a programming tool similar to the blocks of code used last week.

Today was simply about exploring Scratch.  Students who generally work on either Chromebooks or the class Mac laptops set up accounts using the website with me acting as their parent or guardian to approve and keep track of passwords.  The iPad users are experimenting on the free version - Scratch Jr.  We will look at budgeting the full version of Scratch into the 2017 app purchasing plan.

True to form, the students proved quick learners, collaborating to advance their knowledge of both the use of the programming blocks and adapting the avatars.  Questions rang out around the class with answers coming from all directions - except me.  It was a powerful example of tuakana-teina at work.  Not all of the newly created 'experts' in one area were able to be 'experts' in another, seeking help from those who were.

While at this stage the initial introduction to new ways ad tools of learning are being teacher directed, once the students get their teeth past the initial stages they are taking agency over what and how they learn it.  It is great to stand back a little and become one of the learners in this part of the journey we are taking together.  It is fast getting to the point where the students will outdo the teacher.

There has been discussion amongst the students already about how they could use this - aiming to direct these ideas to help them demonstrate learning will become my challenge.

Now that they have 'dipped their toes' into Scratch it is time to let the itch spread - learn more about the way this coding tool can be used for creation and share their creations with each other.

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