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9/26 Workshop - Reflections

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3 replies [Last post]
Tom Campbell

What a nice afternoon! Thank you Mitch and Karen for you hospitality!

I spent the 2 hour drive back to the bucolic Monadnocks thinking about what a powerful tool Scratch is. On the surface, it is so cool that kids can replicate and invent media experiences they are currently consuming... but the transformative aspect of the tool is all about shifting our mental models about what it means to be about a learner/creator. This tool might allow us to begin to ask different questions in the classroom mmm... "What is interesting about this?"

When we heard the story about the math deficient student who had the number line, positive-negative numbers AHA moment making his Scratch, it was just another chiming bell reminding us that 1 size does not work. Let's advocate adding Scratch to a list of options to demonstrate mastery of a concept!

I was also very attunned to the fact that, a la Prensky, most of us are digi immigrants. A HUGE factor in allowing tools like Scrach to become more ubiquitous and pervasive is the need to realign the teacher's head so that they don't need to understand the technical level of what is happening. My most satisfied teachers are as gee-whiz about the coolness factor of the final project as the kids AND they are happy to see the key learning objectives articulated in the Scratch project.

The best teachers - keep their hands in their pockets and ask, "What do you want to do with what you just observed?"

Lastly, the need for us to honor and respct that we are homo ludens. We play to learn. We need most to transform/unlearn the behaviors that most teachers are judged by. Defeat the bell, the segmentation by discipline and we start new trails of inquiry!


Ai Boon Tan

Hi. I hope you don't mind me sharing some thoughts. Yesterday, I had ninja35 and audifreak with me and we were having a Children's Day party.  One of the things we had to do was a shared Scratch project. I started by teaching audifreak how to draw a kingfisher by copying from a picture of one. She continued with the drawing and ninja35 contributed his input. Then we decided to have some fun and made it into a game.  I left the kids to complete it and they had great fun.

The children learned how to work together as a team and they learned different scratch skills from one another as one took over when the other got stuck.  I think that Scratch is such a wonderful tool for team projects as well as for individual projects.  I believe that if you form the children into teams where each team comprises students with differing levels of scratch skills, they will learn very fast from one another.  I guess that the facilitator or teacher must be vigilant to ensure that the more adept student does not take over completely but learns to teach the younger (in terms of skill) scratch students.

Karen Brennan

Ha! I got so wrapped up in responding to your post that I didn't say thanks. Thanks for coming to yesterday's workshop -- it was great to see you there!

Karen Brennan

I think your point about letting go of the technical level is interesting and important. While they don't need to be in control of (or understand) every aspect of interactions with Scratch, I do think it's important for educators to have a strong sense of the possible. What can Scratch help me and my students achieve? How to communicate that space of possibility for people is an interesting challenge!