Starting from Scratch

Digital Fluency | Week 6

Scratch animation offers rich learning opportunities to develop students as digital content creators and technology innovators progressing the acquisition of knowledge and skills to become digitally fluent learners.

Scratch animation is an excellent digital technology that can be used as a creative activity as it results in the creation of digital artefact. This process ‘involves a wide range of skills’ rich in ‘learning tasks’ and ‘perhaps built around problem-solving or inquiry models of learning’ (Howell, 2012, p. 134).

Scratch animation is also a rich learning opportunity when used as an experimental activity as it requires the student to ‘focus on processes’ the ‘learners engage in a process of trying to understand how something works or functions’ (Howell, 2012, p. 135).  The student can manipulate the elements of the animation to change or control it, employing functions, processes and layering to achieve a desired result. Employing scratch through experimental activity ‘builds on them being digital content creators’, as the creation of technology is not central to the activity, it is the tool being used to create an object through (Howell, 2012, p. 135).

Finally, Scratch animation can be employed through a purposeful activity ‘to build upon prior skills’ and ‘acquire experience and fluency’ in the technology to develop their digital fluency (Howell, 2012, p. 135).  Using Scratch animation for this type of activity would be to incorporate it within the curriculum by defining the learning outcomes for students to acquire specific ‘content knowledge and skills’ (Howell, 2012, p. 135).

As Scratch is a time intensive technology it would be important to introduce it early on (depending upon the degree to which students have used it previously, if at all) to enable the students to explore and become familiar with the technology. Embedding the Scratch animation within a curriculum-based task would give students direction and purpose for the desired outcome of their animation. Students would require ample time to plan their animation as well as sufficient time to experiment and create their animation. The end result of the project is the acquisition of knowledge and skills using the technology to create a digital artefact.

Scratch is a rich digital technology full of immense learning potential, especially in a Primary school setting.  If Scratch is used a number of times in a number of ways throughout a student’s primary school years they are well on their way to becoming fluent in this particular digital technology, even digitally proficient.

 

Further resources:

This wiki space CR2.0 is a collection of Scratch lesson plans. Granted it is an American site (so references to American syllabus) however the collection covers lesson plans for different subject areas, such as mathematics and geometry as well as basic introductory lessons to Scratch. If you’re having trouble finding a subject area to incorporate Scratch into, this is a good resource for ideas.

Wiki Space Classroom 2.0 (CR2.0) Lesson Plans for using Scratch.

Wiki Space Classroom 2.0 (CR2.0) Lesson Plans for using Scratch.

Similarly, this webpage Literacy from Scratch, contains lesson ideas.

Using Scratch to support pupil learning (UK)

Using Scratch to support pupil learning (UK)

 

Also, another wiki space Why Teach Scratch? With some relevant points.

Wiki-space Why Teach Scratch?

Wiki-space Why Teach Scratch?

 

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

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