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San Francisco Scratch Educator Meetup: Saturday, May 7, 2016

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3 replies [Last post]
Karen Brennan
We're so excited to be in San Francisco for the first #ScratchEdMeetup #SF!

Here are some resources for the May 7 San Francisco Scratch Educator Meetup: We'll also be sharing the meetup with others via: Add your ideas, questions, and resources as a comment below!
Owen Peery
It was nice to meet so many different educators, however I would have liked to DO or MAKE more things. I really need to see, do, and make more projects so I can bring them back to my school site as examples to convince a reluctant admin and staff. I felt like it was too much talking and not enough making.
Frisco Del Rosario
Think we'd get sufficient interest in a regular meet, in the common pizza-plus-presentations format?
Frisco Del Rosario
In conversation Saturday, a woman told me that some of the others at her school are against bringing Scratch into the curriculum because they feel the additional task of learning Scratch themselves might overwhelm them.

To counter that objection, she recalled this old Jewish fable: A farmer visits his rabbi and says "Rabbi, my house is too small. There is my wife with all her furniture and the kids with their pets, and the walls are closing in!".

The rabbi replies: "You're a farmer, yes? You have pigs? Goats? Cows?" The fellow nods, and the rabbi says: "Move the pigs into the house."


"Just do it."

The man goes home, and following instructions, he moves the pigs into the house. And the next time he visits the rabbi, he says: "Rabbi, these pigs are mucking up the place, and there is less room than before!"

"Move the goats and cows into the house."

"Huh?!" the man says, but he actually returns to his home with his wife and her furniture, the kids and their pets, plus the newly-resident pigs, and he manages to stuff the other farm animals into the house.

Again he returns to the rabbi, now with an escalated tale of woe and insufficient living space.

The rabbi says: "OK, move the farm animals back outside."

And when he returns the cows and goats, the farmer sees much more space in his home, though the pigs are still in it. He realizes that things aren't as bad as they seem, they can always get worse.


To me, that seemed like a fine story to tell her teachers who thought adopting Scratch would be the proverbial straw on a camel's back. But they continue to decline, she said.

Then she tells me a related episode about introducing Alice to her students, some of whom were uninspired because they thought the Alice environment was too much to handle. But when Scratch entered the picture, those kids were pleased to find Scratch's UI less intimidating, and worked happily in her classs for the remainder of the year.

I said: That's like my story. When I thought to start teaching programming, I looked for a teaching language to learn, but I couldn't deal with Alice. Then Scratch showed up, and I'm running with it.

Then I realized that by giving up on Alice before embracing the less-weighty Scratch, her students and I were also farmers moving animals in and out of the house.