Scratch is a free coding platform that allows students to create interactive stories, games, and animations, promoting creativity, systematic reasoning, and collaboration.
What Scratch does
Scratch is a free platform developed by MIT that helps students learn coding through the creation of interactive stories, games, and animations. It encourages creativity, systematic reasoning, and teamwork. For teachers, Scratch provides a range of features such as the ability to create and manage classes, student accounts, and class-specific studios. It also offers resources like project ideas, tutorials, activity cards, and educator guides.
Key features for teachers
Scratch offers several features that can benefit teachers:
- Ease of use: Scratch's block-based programming language eliminates syntax errors, allowing beginners to focus on logic and problem-solving.
- Creativity and engagement: Scratch encourages students to be creative and innovative, making learning enjoyable and memorable.
- Collaboration: Scratch allows students to share their projects with others, promoting teamwork and collaboration.
- Accessibility: Scratch is available both online and offline, ensuring that it can be used by students who don’t have access to the internet.
- Curriculum integration: Scratch can be used to teach a wide range of programming concepts and can be integrated into various subject areas, such as language arts, history, science, and mathematics.
Scratch is a free platform with no hidden costs or premium features. All of Scratch's features, including its block-coding interface, collaboration tools, and extensive library of sprites and backgrounds, are accessible at no cost. Scratch is funded by donations to the Scratch Foundation and does not feature any advertisements.
Potential classroom applications
Teachers can use Scratch in various creative ways:
- Interactive storytelling: Students can create their own stories with branching narratives, exploring different outcomes based on user choices.
- Math games: Students can design games that help practice math skills, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
- Science simulations: Students can create simulations to demonstrate scientific concepts, like the water cycle, gravity, or the solar system.
- Art projects: Students can use Scratch's drawing tools to create digital art, animations, or interactive designs.
- Coding challenges: Teachers can encourage students to solve coding problems or create their own coding challenges for their peers.
- Cross-curricular integration: Teachers can combine multiple subjects in a single project, such as creating a game that teaches both math and geography.