Conclusion

Pupils will have directly explored many of the features of Scratch in the structured part of the eight sessions and should have used most of the remaining control blocks in Scratch during their own explorations. The structured part of the course is designed to take up the first third of each session and pupils need complete only the first six sessions to gain a good understanding of Scratch. The more enthusiastic and able students will have used the time in the later lessons to begin developing their own applications whilst other students will need encouragement by starting off modifying and extending one of the sample projects.

The final two lessons are optional and designed to get pupils to understand how to build applications that might be different to the one they have selected for their own project. If boys are developing games and girls multimedia applications, they should at least understand how to build a range of applications.

Children will have been given the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills in addition to Scratch programming. Working in pairs and communicating with other children in the class and watching the videos and experimenting with, and modifying applications, should have extended their communication and comprehension skills. The teacher can facilitate this by showing individual projects to the class and encouraging pupils to ‘show and tell’ and explain how they solved particular problems.

Children with poor English or special needs often thrive when using Scratch and may gain in confidence and enthusiasm during the Scratch sessions. Geometry and mathematical concepts of angles and coordinates can be expanded upon for older children but turtle graphics and the process of discovering shapes and polygons through exploration should improve the children’s understanding of the subject.

Scratch excels in improving digital literacy by providing a framework for children to bring together images and sounds they may have created in other applications together into a single application. Creating a class showcase which can be uploaded to the internet for parents to see can be a great way of bringing a classroom topic to life and creates pride in the children for their creative and engineering skills whilst developing them as computer programmers.

19/11/2017 11:59:30