At our last digital literacy trainer day, we had Wesley Fryer take the team through some experiences with a program called, Scratch. Scratch is a simple software development platform created by a team of educators at MIT. It’s a free program that allows anyone to create media project or programs. It’s very simple to use. But, like all great tools, it can be extended into very complex and intricate designs. Because of this flexibility, it really can be used with younger, elementary-aged children as well as secondary students.
One of the main purposes of Scratch is create an environment for kids where math/numbers are the main language. When playing around with Scratch projects, there are mathematical concepts imbedded everywhere. But, it’s very transparent. So, it doesn’t “feel” like math. However, Scratch could easily be used to reinforce or extend concepts.
All of the digital literacy trainers had a full day to work with Scratch. I know many of them have already come up with ideas on how to use it to enhance their teaching. I would encourage everyone to at least give it a look. If you have questions, go ahead and touch base with one of your building’s digital literacy trainers. I’m sure they will have even more ideas to share on Scratch.