Today we looked at coding, starting with the resources compiled on Rich McCue‘s website. I know nothing about coding but after having looked at some of the beginner courses for coding I realized that scratch is the program that a grade seven class at Landsdown Middle was using during an exploratory block that I got to sit in on. I wasn’t able to help them much but I went around the room and had students explain to me what they were working on and showing me their creations. It was amazing to see how engaged the entire class was despite the fact that it was an exploratory block, they were allowed to chat, and at one point the teacher stepped out of the room and let me be the only monitor. They were quietly working, intent on hitting the next level and when someone ran into a problem or glitch, someone else stepped up to help them get through it. They were all invested in their projects and proud to show me what they were doing even though I didn’t quite understand the program.
Having the opportunity today to play with the program gave me better insight as to how it works and what it could be used for. I think it’s a great program to teach problem solving and collaboration, especially that you can create games that others can play and help each other build off ideas and fix problems that may arise in the program. I think the story telling and game aspect of Scratch has lots of potential in english classes and art classes as well. It’s very visual and although I am more of an analog artist myself, I know there are students interested in the digital arts, and this is one way they can create compositions or stories that can be used across multiple disciplines as a multi-modal way to do assignments.