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LEAD Scratch Workshop

The following story was taken from Hong Kong's Learning through Engineering, Art, and Design (LEAD) organization blog recounting a professional development workshop about Scratch held for educators on July 9, 2011.

10 am on a Saturday morning, a room in Marymount Primary School gradually filled up with teachers and education professionals. TEACHERS?! Why aren’t there any students? This time the teachers are not here to teach but to share the experiences with the use of Scratch in their schools. In addition, it is an honour to have Karen here from MIT to tell us more about Scratch and the great range of applications to it.


From the brief introduction given by Karen Brennan, everyone’s eyes were glued to the screen and were fascinated by the wide range of subjects that can be applied in schools. Science! Mathematics! Science technology! And even more! Although teachers have different levels of experience in Scratch, they had explored Scratch in a variety of ways with the use of PicoBoard

 
 

It was interesting to see teachers explore in the use of PicoBoard. Karen demonstrated a very creative way of using PicoBoard. Water was used to change the resistance for controlling the pitch of the sound played. Some started to pour water on the table and tested the resistance using the PicoBoard! I would have never thought of the idea! 


Everyone started to test with the sensors. Someone even came up with a way of controlling the movement of an object in the screen by using the volume received. Very impressive! 


Karen introduced a fun game called Pong. I am sure all of us have played Pong before but this time we had to shout to move the bar around to stop the ball from reaching the bottom as the bar is controlled by the amount of noise we make. Everyone shouted loudly in the room and the atmosphere was instantly energized. I am sure everyone enjoyed the game a lot. Such a creative way to play Pong!


Through the sharing of the teachers, others were inspired by the finished products made by students. ‘Wow, very pretty!’ some said when looking at the screen. This was made by a student in geometry class. Looking at the screen, I could not believe that it was done by primary school students. It was amazing!


It was a great honour to have Karen here with us and we truly appreciate everyone turning up in the workshop. It was great listening to the teachers’ experiences with Scratch. I am sure some has been inspired by other’s work done in schools. 

As quoted from Karen’s presentation, ‘Scratch is not just a tool, it represents an approach to learning.’ Hopefully, in the near future, more and more teachers will realize the benefits brought when using Scratch so that students can express their creativity and have loads of fun while learning. 

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