This week I have tried to complete some extension activities using the Scratch Program. This has been interesting and frustrating at the same time. After completing the Etch-a-Sketch programming last week I decided to move forward with this idea and build an extension activity encompassing the foundations of Scratch while also finding a new way to make an design or concept become a visual reality. In order for me to make this happen, I attempted to find engaging ideas from many different websites.
One was called Scratch Ed (n.d.), it has some great creative designs elements which I utilised in the way I planned and designed my Scratch Program. My idea was to extend the program from a simple etch-a-sketch game to getting the sprite to draw continuously, change colour itself and change the width of the pen ink. This idea really didn’t turn out the way I envisioned it would, I struggled to get this work. After trying many ways I decided to log into the Learning Place to seek advice on how to get this to work. I found a blog written by ICT teacher Kristine Kopelke (2013) about her experiences with using Scratch 2.0 in her classroom. She discussed how her students from grade 2 to grade 6 interacted with the program from beginning with absolutely having no experience to having these same students designing sharks to chase fish by the end of the session (Kopelke, 2013). Reading her blogs associated with this program, encouraged me to persist with the program and eventually I saw some results.
Through my engagement with Scratch I have found it has a strong potential for teachers to interconnect design with the draft Australian Curriculum Aims and Contexts (2013). Scratch manages to provide a foundation to encourage a deeper knowledge and understanding towards the design and technologies content elements. Implementing this program in classrooms will also enhance students ability to produce, design and evaluate innovative their own technological programs while also increasing their manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination (Australian Curriculum Assessment & Reporting Authority, 2013).
As a perspective educator, I feel that I have learnt more about the ideologies and importance associated with the implementation of the draft technologies curriculum into everyday teaching practices. In amongst the drama of adapting Scratch to my envisioned idea and limited programming skills I have come to realise the technology definitely has an important place in the current teaching and learning environment. Technology is really seen as the art of design, creation and program manipulation and without recognising it we utilise technology everyday through the interaction with computers right through to answering the phone. We as educators need to continue to embrace the many technological advances and continue to develop our skills to ensure that our prospective students attain the best facilitation to encourage their own personal development.
Australian Curriculum Assessment Reporting Authority. (2013) Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies. Retrieved March, 5, 2013 from http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Static/docs/Technologies/Draft%20Australian%20Curriculum%20Technologies%20-%20February%202013.pdf
Scratch Ed. (n.d.). Featured resources. Retrieved March, 25, 2013 from http://scratched.media.mit.edu/resources
Kopelke, K. (2013). Scratch and learn. Retrieved March, 25, 2013 from https://staff.learningplace.eq.edu.au/blog/2fa60529-04ac-4f88-9b06-a5eaa3a0bcfc/Scratch-and-Learn1.aspx