Welcome to the Scratch PD for 2017-2018

Here is some brief background on this coding application:

Who: Mitch Resnick and the MIT Media Lifelong Kindergarten Group
When: 2007
Why: Below are just 3 good reasons.
  • Using Scratch helps young people become creative thinkers and learn through experimentation and exploration. Please view the Mitch Resnick TED talk.
  • Scratch is an application that fits into the WCSU Digital Learning Plan's definition of effective technology integration.* 
  • Scratch develops computational thinking, an approach for problem solving. 
Dr. Jeannette Wing was the first person to write about computational thinking. That was in 2006.
"Computational thinking will be a fundamental skill used by everyone in the world by the middle of the 21st Century." "It is the thought processes one uses to formulate a problem and to express its solution in such a way that a computer (human or machine) could carry out."

For more information about Scratch, you can take a look at the Scratch Discussion Forum for some great answers, or browse the Scratch WEbScratch Wiki. There are several youtube vides, and text articles online.

Mitch Resnick has a new book out that talks about the Creative Learning Spiral, and the 4 P's of learning. It is Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play Mitchel Resnick, MIT Media Lab Published by MIT Press (2017)

Background on Scratch should also include Resnick's mentor/colleauge at MIT, Seymour Papert. He was the first to say (1960's) that children would be using computers for both learning and enhancing creativity. Papert's essay, Gears of My Childhood was published as the forward to his book, Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas (Basic Books, 1980). Seymour Papert's mentor was Jean Piaget.

  • My basic idea is that programming is the most powerful medium of developing the sophisticated and rigorous thinking needed for mathematics, for grammar, for physics, for statistics, for all the “hard” subjects…. In short, I believe more than ever that programming should be a key part of the intellectual development of people growing up.
  • The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.

Below is a project I made a few years ago to tell a Scratch / Mitch Resnick story.XXXXXXXXXXX

*Effective technology integration at the WCSU:
  1. either transforms or redefines an educational activity. If an educational activity can be highly effective without technology, we should not add technology for the sake of adding technology.
  2. fosters higher order thinking where students are applying, analyzing, evaluating, or creating content using technology.
  3. engages students in educational activities in school and allows students to remain engaged outside of school.
  4. provides real world relevance and an opportunity for students to apply their learning to authentic situations.
  5. allows students to extend learning beyond the classroom to connect and collaborate with community members and experts from around the world. 
  6. uses appropriate technologies to achieve pedagogical goals (e.g, different teaching approaches, methods of assessment, different learning theories) allowing teachers to act as facilitators in the classroom.
  7. promotes the active use of technology (coding, immersive simulation, media production, interactions with experts, global connections, design, and peer collaboration), rather than passive use (consuming media or completing digitized worksheets).