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Saturday Meetups-What's Next

This was also posted on my blog site: Tech Inspired

For the past four years I have had the good fortune to participate in Scratch Meetups hosted by the ScratchEd Team (free of charge) at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA. For three hours one Saturday each month, educators, parents, and graduate interns gathered in a welcoming space overlooking the Charles River and the Boston skyline.

Each meetup began with thoughtful "ice-breakers" which had to be modified as the number of attendees grew. These self-portraits were taken from the ScratchEd Team Flickr site discussed below.

We brainstormed topics of interest and then organized in small groups to work and share. The activities of every meetup have been documented in the "Discussions" section of the collaborative ScratchEd website. However, to see how much fun and informative these meetups have been go to the ScratchEd Team's Flickr albums, that capture the four years of these phenomenal learning exchanges. You will see examples of the ice-breakers, post-it note covered walls and robotics. Most importantly you will notice smiling participants working to understand the ideas of creative computing with Scratch.

Since the outset of these meetups, Scratch has transformed from a popular after-school activity to a robust web-based multimedia platform for creative computing. Our discussions and activities during these mornings paralleled this transition and enabled us to lead the outreach in our communities.

The final 2013-2014 meetup at MIT will be June 7, 2014. Hopefully, all those who have been inspired and energized by attending one or more of these events will return and help recognize the work done by our hosts: Mitch Resnick, Karen Brennan, Michelle Chung, and Jeff Hawson. These individuals have worked tirelessly on the design and implementation of this playful journey, allowing all of us to grow our professional knowledge and networks.

What's next? In the spirit of Scratch, it's time to remix. Time to take the ideas and the connections that have been created at theses meetups and continue to champion Scratch and creative computing. As we hopefully create new branches and new forms of exchange let us continue to add resources to ScratchEd, to build on existing lessons and rubrics and to take time to sit down and teach our colleagues and students about Scratch.

Michelle Choi
Love this, Janet!