Are you a teacher or parent who would like to introduce a student to programming in 2016? Or perhaps they got started in 2015, and would like to continue learning, but you are not sure how to guide them further?
Scratch programming is a great way to get started creating animations or games, and learning how to put computer instructions together, without needing typing skills or learning the exact syntax* for a set of specific computer language commands.
To get started today, explore the main page at https://scratch.mit.edu. There is good background reading and videos at the links labelled “FOR EDUCATORS” and “FOR PARENTS”.
Next, select “See Examples” to view many projects that others have created. Once you’ve selected a project, use the green flag and red stop sign to start and stop the program. By using the “See Inside” button, you can see the instructions that have been stacked together for each sprite in the project.
Next to the “See inside” button, you will notice the number of scripts and sprites are listed. The characters and objects that are created in Scratch are called “sprites”, and the sets of instructions that are associated with each sprite are “scripts”.
Scratch Screen Overview
Here is an overview of the Scratch interface, and some of the terms to get you started.
If you teach programming to K-12 students, and have questions or ideas to share about programming in 2016, please leave a comment below!
*syntax : the arrangement of words, characters, numbers and/or punctuation. Just like any area of interest, from quilting to cars, computing has a vocabulary of it’s own.