This week in Digital Technologies, we were focusing on the benefits of using coding in the class room. Coding is an important part of learning in today’s society and in order to explore this, we used the computer coding program Scratch Jr., to create an interactive story.
The ability to code computer programs is an important part of not only learning, but in many aspects of literacy, and becoming increasingly known as the new literacy. When people begin to learn to code, they learn the important skills and strategies for solving problems, communicating their ideas in a different way and designing creative projects.
Scratch Jr. is an introductory programming language that enables young children who are of age 5 and above, and create their own by having the improved knowledge of coding prior to utilising Scratch Jr. The Lead Project, (2014) discusses the skills acquired by the coding program: “As young people create Scratch projects, they are not just learning how to write computer programs. They are learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for success and happiness in today’s world.” When a child is using Scratch Jr., they are having to navigate their way around the rules of coding, plan ahead, set the scenes and create different characters “Sprites”.
Scratch Jr. is widely used in education establishments, as it links in effectively with the Scottish Curriculum, ranging from Early level to Second level. “Scratch is designed for exploration and experimentation, so it supports any different learning style.” (The Lead Project, 2014) Schools are benefiting from coding programs such as Scratch Jr. as it’s benefits are endless for educators. it helps aid them in teaching subjects such as English, Maths, Music and Information Technology.
During the workshop, we created an interactive story using Scratch Jr., using our prior knowledge of coding and incorporating the Scottish curriculum Experiences and Outcome’s throughout the course of the interactive story. I had created a story, whereby an octopus and two other fish were in the ocean. The octopus had lost his lucky star and the two fish were to help him find it. The fish came across objects which were not the star, until the other fish had found where it may be. the children were then brought to a scene at night time, where the question was asked: “What might happen next?” This will allow the children to describe scenes, the character’s feelings and think ahead about what may happen next in the story line, developing their creative thinking skills.
The Scottish Curriculum Experience’s and Outcomes which link in with my Scratch Jr. story creation were:
“I explore and experiment with the features and functions of computer technology and I can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts” TCH 1-04a/TCH 2-04a.
In relation to Literacy, the relevant outcome which links in to the task was:
“I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience.” LIT 1-20a / LIT 2-20a
Moreover, I felt that it was beneficial being introduced to Scratch Jr., as I feel that it is an extremely useful source to use within a classroom environment, when teaching different lessons in an interactive way. I definitely will use this in the future when I become a teacher as I think it will encourage the pupils to create stories, with the prompt of an educator. not only developing creativity, but problem solving, collaborating and logically reasoning.
The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Programming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press.https://www.facebook.com/