Skip to Content

Scratch for Budding Computer Scientists

In this article, Malan and Leitner discuss Scratch's potential as the first language for first-time programmers in introductory Computer Science classes.

Malan and Leitner use Scratch to teach their introductory Computer Science classes at Harvard. Drawing on their experiences, the authors discuss Scratch's potential as the language for first-time programmers. This article suggests that Scratch is a "viable gateway" to more advanced programming languages. Unlike programming languages like JAVA, Scratch allows students to master programmatic constructs and logic without getting bogged down by syntax.

 

Comments
Member

 I found CS50 on iTunes University. Amazing course! Can you help me find the Scratch source code for the examples David Malan uses in the second lecture week 0? I am a teacher in Madison WI, cannot log in to the Harvard site, I assume/

 

Thank you.

 

Tim

Member

Hi Timothy,

I'm not sure which examples David is using in the iTunes University videos, but you might be able to find them on the CS50 Scratch page or in one of the galleries of students' projects. There is also a Scratch online tutorial for CS50 that you might be interested in available at http://scratched.media.mit.edu/resources/scratch-budding-computer-scientists-tutorials. Hope that helps!

M

Member

Thank you, Michele.

 

I found the demo programs at cs50.tv/2011/fall, on the lectures tab under "source code".

 

Tim Mueller

 

Member

Great! Glad you found it.

M

Member

In addition to making a case for Scratch in higher ed, this paper also helps to legitimatize Scratch as a tool in k-12. It's a short, sweet, and powerful document to present to Admin and/or Dept. Heads. Sort of like, "Hey, if its good enough for Harvard, then..."

randomness