What is Scratch?
With programming in scratch you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century (source: https://scratch.mit.edu/about).
Teaching scratch to the students of class four to eight was initiated in 2015 which was included inside the “Literacy with ICT” textbook. Students will get to learn programming in scratch starting from class four and the content ends at class eight. It was a good initiative by Royal Education Council that they found a need of keeping our students in pace with the emergent and immersive technologies in 21st century.
I came to know about the scratch when i was first teaching literacy with ICT in grade 7 and 8. I did not got to learn scratch even in my college days. I always thought of skipping the chapter because I too don’t know what Scratch is all about. so, how to go ahead with teaching the students?
Well, I found that we get plenty of resources online which means that programming in scratch is not new or rarely applied. I was little boosted to learn and explore more. Gradually, I was able to teach scratch effectively to the students as prescribed in syllabus. It was fun creating animation and games.
Unfortunately, we see teaching scratch getting compromised since literacy with ICT does not have examination. students usually don’t learn if they don’t have exam. But then, I found learning and knowing programming in scratch is way beyond than just learning for examination. Knowing its application is what motivated me and my students to learn more.
Programming Robots with Blocks.
In Scratch, programming are all done in blocks where we Just drag and drop logically together for the specific task. I underestimated thinking that scratch programming is for kids. I never knew having a little knowledge of programming in scratch would help me in building a ROBOTS.
Actually scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages. Millions of people are creating Scratch projects in a wide variety of settings, including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centers (source: Scratch official page).
STEMP Olympiad 2019 (robotic competition)
This year, 2019, for the first time ever and which is at National level, Bhutan hosts National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Robotics competition on the theme “artificial intelligence for sustainable farming”. Here, Students are asked to build a robot and compete each other for the effectiveness and durability. Robotic kits are provided by the fab lab of Bhutan.
Literacy for a robotics requires to know how to code.
While building robots my students had hard time programming rather than designing since, they did not got an opportunity to learn scratch or any other programming languages in lower classes. Still than, with a little knowledge in scratch programming I was able to help them and now they are far more better. They were able to make a robot work.
Programming in building robot offers two ways to code: Blocks and the onBot java programming tool. Where coding in Blocks is no different than how we code in Scratch. We just have to install Robot Controller App from play- store and install inside our smart phone. Developer can also also use laptop or tablet to do a programming. After programming the developer can then saves the programs directly into the Robot Controller Hub.
Here’s an original snap of block programming that my students did while building a robot. It’s similar to how we do in Scratch.
You can watch exhibition match of our robots:
Learning and teaching scratch is not a simple thing or should be taken lightly. I was delighted knowing that scratch programming is not just a basic thing. I can say, it’s a simple thing doing a broader task.
Learn scratch. Teach Scratch. Do scratch.
Scratch offline version 3 is available now. You can click here to download.
You can also read 3 things to know about scratch version 3. here
Did you know? (applicable only for Bhutanese students)
Royal Education Council invites all the schools with classes VII, VIII and IX to participate in the digital artifact competition by submitting digital works created by students under three categories. for more info. click here.
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