NKH's ICT Blog

Just a girl from Manchester trying to get a good career :)

Computer Programming: Phoebe don’t scraaaatch! :)

Filed under: Scratch — Nicola-Kate at 10:46 am on Wednesday, October 17, 2012  Tagged , ,

So last week we looked at Internet safety, this week’s ICT session was completely different and focused on exploring skills and techniques in programming within the primary school. This is a completely new concept to me as I have never experienced programming before within a school setting or at home.  I didn’t have the chance to use the apps on the iPad; but I would love to have a go at using them at some point.


We were introduced to a cat animation, lots of confusing boxes and a grey background!! Daunting? I had never even heard of the program before; let alone going to be using it in the lesson! However, it wasn’t as daunting as it seemed. It is very child-friendly and allows the user to create an animated story or game. There were step-to-step guides on how to use the program and how to create different games, which would be useful to the children. I used one of the step-to-step guides in the lesson called- Magic Animation, which was an intermediate project. I found it very enjoyable to use but found it quite difficult; I did npt really understand what I was doing with it! However, after a play around with it I finally got the hang of it and created an animation. I did try to create a game but ran out of time! The step by step guides were fantastic in helping me use Scratch! Children would definitely need to learn the basics of programming before even being introduced to the Scratch program. They would need to learn each stage of the program step-by-step and ensure that they could complete a game using Scratch.

Scripts (characters/objects etc), backgrounds, sounds etc. are all loaded onto the program to use; however, if you are feeling creative you can make your own and use it in your game. A fantastic aspect of this program is it allows the children to be creative and express their excitement through ICT. Through using their imagination and creating animated games and stories the children are learning and applying skills they have learnt through using Scratch. Scratch is a free downloadable programme, meaning schools do not need to worry about costs. Therefore, there is no excuse why schools would not use it! Although, teacher confidence is always going to be an issue; I certainly would not feel confident in teaching children how to use Scratch! Furthermore, if I spent a sufficient amount of time using the program and getting used to the tools within it, I think my confidence would grow.

After writing the 1st part of my blog I decided to download Scratch so I could spend a little more time using it and familiarising myself with it. This was a great idea, as I could definitely see the benefits of using the program in schools with children. The benefits of the program are endless and it would provide children with computing skills that would help them throughout their school lives and further into their adult lives. I would definitely use the program with a class of children, however, a lot of teacher modelling and input would be needed. I would also maybe put the children in small groups or pairs to begin with as they can share ideas, discuss the program and help each other create a useful game. I would also allow the children to play around with the program and use their imagination and creativity before setting them off on a game task; just so they know the basics of the program!

Here is a screen shot of my ‘game’ that I attempted to create!! I only managed to make the fish follow the curser and the other animals move side to side 🙂

As you can see from the game and screen shot; I made lots of different scripts (animals!) and gave them instructions on what to do! This was a very basic ‘game’ I made.

One thing I did love from the lesson was triptico I think it is a great program to use for selecting groups and partners. However, it does have its disadvantages if children are selected with other children they do not get on with or work well with. We all know what it is like to be grouped/paired with people we don’t necessarily want to work with don’t we? There is no way of hiding our dismay using this program!

Useful links:

Scratch
Triptico



2 Comments »

3

   Helen

October 27, 2012 @ 4:30 pm   Reply

Your Scratch journey makes an interesting read. It does look daunting at first, I agree. But you quickly progressed to making something very impressive.

5

   Nicola-Kate

November 6, 2012 @ 11:46 am   Reply

Thank you 🙂
I enjoyed using Scratch and would use it in the classroom.

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