During my time in Ireland with my MAET program, my coworker from MACHS Jen created a script using MIT’s Scratch to help her students with inequalities on a number line. As far as technology goes, I’d like to think that I can learn things fairly quickly and with ease, so when I was assigned to create two projects on Scratch for my CEP course, I thought that this would be a piece of cake.
Boy was I wrong.
I looked on of the first projects called It’s Alive. The objective was to have a creature on the screen love across it. Seemed fairly simple? Wrong. I spend at least a half hour just trying to figure out why I was using the repeat function and then wondering why I couldn’t change from one creature to another. Once I settled for the penguins exchanging hellos, I could not figure out why one wasn’t talking back, or why the other was continuing to walk across the screen. I finally took a breath before going through the code and trying different motions and wait times to get something that looks like this:
Although it was extensive, I was surprised at how frustrating it was to create it.
I thought back to week 2 with the assigned readings, and I of course thought back to my students. Currently I am teaching an HTML and CSS coding class that requires my students to create projects in HTML coding. This being my first year learning and then teaching coding, it has been a huge learning experience. My students struggle on a day to day basis with debugging and reconfiguring things to work, that most of the time they stop and give up.
Debugging is a huge component of both computational thinking and problem solving skills. Students need to plan and when the plan falls through, have the ability to breath, look over the plan and see where the error is and try something new. Adjust it. Change it. Scrap it. Start over.
After taking a moment, looking over other projects and examples I was able to figure out how to make an animation.
Here’s more Scratch Projects that you could work on yourself.