Saturday, December 10, 2011

Scratch - Something worthwhile for kids on the computer.

My mom is working for NSF this year as an Einstein fellow.;  As part of her job she reviews grants and attends conferences focused on education of math and computer science.  When she came to visit for Thanksgiving, she introduced us to a program called Scratch for learning computer science methods.  My kids are entranced by it, and it is pretty cool.

My kids spend a lot of time using paint on the computer anyway, but now they can animate their digital drawings, add music, sounds, and automate actions of their characters.

Here are some recent Paint drawings from the kids, I will let you guess which one's were Kate's and which from Emily.

This is Emily's first project.  Almost every key does something to the character.  The middle keys play music and other keys change the character.  Emily has talked about doing an animated storybook with it. You have to give permission for the Java plug-in to run and then you can explore Emily's Scratch project.  The little kids also play around with it, but haven't run any commands, they are entranced by the enhanced paint options and  preloaded characters.  Kate just clicks like mad until the screen is a scrum of characters.

Learn more about this project

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