Creative Computing Using Scratch

Computing process

The key Scratch avatar, it is a yellow kittyCreative Computing Using Scratch is an open course developed from The Creative Computing Guide by Karen Brennan, Christan Balch, and Michelle Chung at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. They encourage you to document and share your experiences with all of them and other educators at http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu.

Lesson 0 – Getting Started

Prepare for the culture of creative computing by exploring possibilities and setting up technical infrastructure (e.g., creating Scratch accounts, starting design journals) and social infrastructure (e.g., establishing critique groups). Dive into an initial creative experience by making something “surprising” happen to a Scratch character. Get comfortable with the key computational concept of sequencing through a series of activities that provide varying levels of structure – from a step-by-step tutorial to a creative challenge using a limited number of blocks, to open-ended explorations through making a project about yourself.

Lesson 1 – Exploring Programming Sequences

A mix of structured and open-ended activities that engage students in exploration of the key concept of sequence – identifying and specifying an ordered series of instructions. From a step-by-step tutorial, to playing with a constrained number of blocks, to a debugging challenge, each activity helps you build the skills needed to create an About Me project. In the culminating project, you will explore and experiment with sprites, costumes, looks, backdrops, and sounds to create a personalized, interactive collage in Scratch.

Lesson 2 – Animations

Play with visuals and audio in these activities focused on animation, art, and music. Explore Scratch’s focus on media – and the key computational concepts of loops, events, and parallelism – by building your own band, designing animated creatures, and creating a music video for a favorite song.

Lesson 3 – Stories

Create new interactive worlds through collaborative storytelling. Begin by developing characters, learning to code conversations, and then situating those characters and conversations in shifting scenes. Combine characters, conversations, and scenes in a larger story project that is passed along to other creators to further develop – and possibly re-imagine entirely!

Lesson 4 – Games

Connect fundamental game mechanics such as score and levels to key computational concepts, such as variables, operators, and conditionals. Analyze your favorite games, imagine new ones, and practice game design by implementing (and extending) classic games, like Pong.!

Lesson 5 – Diving Deeper

Before the culminating unit, take a moment to revisit work from prior units, further exploring advanced concepts or helping others by designing new activities or debugging challenges.

Lesson 6 – Hackathon

Put all of the computational concepts and practices into action by designing and developing a project of your own through iterative cycles of planning, making, and sharing.

 

Course Materials

Learners need an accessible email address to join Scratches programming environment and a journal to reflect and design projects. The Scratch environment created and run by MIT researcher is free and open to all.

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