Millions around the world use Scratch as their first coding experience. To learn from the best Scratch educators, to get some new inspirations, and to share my own experiences with this fantastic coding platform, I went to the international Scratch 2017 conference in Bordeaux, aka Scratch2017Bdx, this July, and I was not disappointed! Here are just some of my take-aways… many of them will make their way into my classes with cccSkerries (in real life, here in Skerries, Co. Dublin, Ireland) and (online) with thecccCo.
10 things I brought back from Scratch2017Bdx…
- Use Scratch more for story telling – imaginary stories or stories based on real life (for instance, tales from a family’s history, or projects based on what is happening in the world – check out the Syrian Refugees stories created by students in a Chicago high school).
- Get a taste of Augmented Reality – easy with Scratch! We’ll use the camera and pick-colour / when touching colour function to make a ping pong game that uses real (drawn) paddles, as shown by Scratcher Xefi during one of the many fantastic workshops. (This is one for the intermediate camp, I think!)
- Do even more with the Scratch graphics editor! … a fantastic tutorial I’ll use (again in the intermediate camp / groups) was created by a 17-year-old girl from South Africa, known on Scratch as Bubble103, who was at the conference.
- Have a closer look at Scratch 3.0 in its current pre-pre-alpha version…
The next version of Scratch will run on tablets and smartphones, so more places to show off our work, yay!
- …. and do the Scratch 3.0 team a favour by running several Scratch 2.0 projects in the current Scratch 3.0 version to check if they’re working
- Keep an eye out for projects by Scratchers I met during the conference, and add more of their projects to my Scratch Studio (a collection of Scratch projects) “#Scratch2017Bdx”.
- Try Inkspace for creating graphics that are too complex for the Scratch graphics editors, and then import them into Scratch projects. (Thank you, Mathieu, for the tip!)
- Try out some of the many other things, such as Cloqq, where children can try out a number of creative technologies including Scratch; micro:bit for connecting Scratch to the real world via the (somewhat experimental) ScratchX site *but oh no, what do I see, it’s for Mac only at the moment! Can’t wait for it to be extended to Windows computers, too*
- Spread my love for vector graphics wherever I can, in my groups, online in the community, and through my projects with thecccco and cccSkerries!
Why vector graphics? Scratchers enjoy creating their own graphics (and it’s easier than you might think). Animations are way easier with Vector Graphics than with Bitmap. It’s a good introduction to computer graphics in general. And Scratchers can do fantastic things with their own graphics, such as explain things visually, tell a story with or without lip synching, create a music video, create a logo for their account…. Creativity rules! 😀
- And then there is Sonic Pi, a live coding music synth. Watch it in action at the conference party here – Sam Aaron live-coding music at the conference after-party!
Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to attend the 2018 conference in MIT – if its NOT the one beginning Mon July 23, 2018, I’ll be there! (date will be settled soon, Mitch Resnick of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT – the people who make Scratch – told me in Bordeaux)