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Starting from Scratch: Early Experiences from the Lajedos Site Museum

Introducing a technology initiative in Porto Novo, Santo Antão, Cape Verde...(presented at Scratch@MIT 2008 Conference)

As part of a larger technology initiative, Roger Meintjes introduced Scratch to students in Porto Novo, Santo Antão, Cape Verde. Through Scratch, Meintjes was hoping to:

  •  reanimate and extend local toy making tradition
  •  establish initial presence of a constructivist workspace

Here are some project details:


  • serve as formal starting point to self-lead learning process
  • marks introduction of computers & internet to community
  • using scratchboards & toolbox of traditional craft tools
  • two groups (morning and afternoon) over 10 days
  • run during school holidays – voluntary attendance
  • ages 16-21 (meant to have been 12-18!)
  • youth from various communities of the region
  • introduction to scratch & boards followed by personal projects
  • project choice open to individual or group

and one year on ...

  • did not grow as expected
  • comfort with the 'old' does not translate to comfort with the 'new'
  • need for local 'driver' to lead process
  • usage must be actively built and nurtured
  • certain tools take root quicker than others
  • organic and less structured approach seems better
  • link between 'new' and 'old' technologies not apparent
  • establish local usage before expanding to other communities

next steps

  • learn from current informal learning practice in the community
  • allow traditional toy making facility to grow and take root first
  • grow digital component from traditional component
  • offer range of fun activities and make space more social
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