Saturday, October 27, 2012

MIT's Scratch Educator Meetups

On Saturday, October 13. 2012, I attended a Scratch educator meetup at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge.  For those of you who are not familiar with Scratch, it is a programming environment that appeals to students of all ages because, according to Mitch Resnick, it has wide walls, low floors, and high ceilings.  The wide walls mean that the program is attractive to a wide variety of students, as they can build animations, games, or interactive projects in a range of topics.  It has low floors because it is easy for a beginner to use, and it has high ceilings because it is capable of creating advanced programming projects.  The best part of using Scratch in the classroom is that if offers students a venue for being creative, problem-solving, and collaborating.

MIT's Scratch Educator meetups are particularly helpful because attendees have a chance to meet other educators to discuss how they are using Scratch in the classroom.  In addition, there is always an opportunity to practice using Scratch in hands-on workshops.  The most useful aspects of this particular meetup for me were that I was able to play around with the new version of Scratch (Scratch 2.0), expected to be made available to the public later this year and I learned about a relatively new book for introducing Scratch to kids: Super Scratch Programming Adventure.

The reflections from last Saturday's meetup, including a list of participants, breakout sessions, announcements, and photos, are posted on the ScratchEd website.  For those interested, the MIT Media Lab will host a Scratch educator meetup on the 2nd Saturday of every month.

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