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Why your Child should learn Scratch Programming?

ScratchCat

What is Scratch? Scratch is an online program that kids as young as 5 years can use to express their online creations artistically while collaborating and sharing with other online Users. Scratch has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface where the Users will choose blocks of instructions to perform tasks.

Scratch is the work of MIT media lab and has a large number of Users creating and sharing their Projects online. Scratch is highly touted as the next generation tool to help kids prepare for the 21st century.

Why is it important for kids to learn Scratch? It is extremely important for our kids to learn ‘Computational Thinking’ – Like Problem Solving, Modularization and Iterative Design – as more and more of this type of thinking is being applied in areas other than Programming. It is also important for kids to have ‘Digital Fluency’ in the future which means to design, create and mix digital content and not just browse, chat and interact with it.

Various types of Projects can be created using Scratch like Stories, Animations, Games and even interaction with the Physical World (see my earlier post about this topic here and the video here). Scratch is also more customizable which allows kids to express creatively of their own designs while incorporating designs from others.

How kids can benefit by learning Scratch? By creating projects in Scratch, kids will learn to think about designing stuff before building, will learn to solve problems creatively, express the ideas that are close to them and work collaboratively with others. Kids will also learn to share their work, present their work to others and get feedback and also comment on others projects. These are some of the most important skill sets needed for the 21st Century.

From what age can kids learn Scratch? Kids as young as 5 years old can start learning Scratch, while kids aged 7 or 8 maybe able to express more creatively. Also younger kids may be more engaged with Scratch while interacting with the Physical World which has gained rapid popularity over the past few years.

What is the future with Scratch? As the Digital World is melding more into the Physical World and vice versa there is a greater need than ever to educate our kids at a faster pace with all the new and upcoming technologies. Scratch is definitely at the forefront of the tools which will help kids gain the much needed knowledge about ‘Computational Thinking’, ‘Digital Fluency’, ‘Creative Computing‘ and to some extent even ‘Robotics’.

If you are interested in enhancing your child’s 21st Century skills, then come see us at Creation Station.

3 Comments
  1. Hi David,
    I absolutely agree with you, our idea is to take it to the next level by giving an opportunity to kids to see how Scratch can be used in the realm of the Physical world as mentioned in my other blog http://creationstationma.com/2015/01/merry-go-round-using-knex-lego-wedo-scratch-programming/.

    Thanks,
    Nandu

  2. A variant of Scratch, now under development, is BlocksCAD. This uses a Scratch format to implement a language quite similar to OpenSCAD. For more information, contact Matt at Einstein’s Workshop, now in Cambridge. Tell him Rich Thall brought this to your attention.

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