Information and communication technologies are areas of high demand for professionals. Preparing our children and young people for this market can ensure a good future for them, but teaching these technologies goes much further. The learning of information technologies and the training in programming improves and develops skills that will be basic regardless of the future profession of the child and the area of activity to which he is dedicated.
From this perspective, the Scratch project , from the Lifelong Kindergarten Group of the MIT Media Laboratory, which we can find for free on the project website , allows us to program and share interactive stories, games and animations, helping young people to learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively, while increasing their motivation and improving their autonomy.
The digital native is made
Programming learning, with its profound impact on creativity and the development of cognitive skills, goes further, making this activity social and collaborative. Working with digital technologies, if carried out as a team, improves the capacities for social interaction significantly compared to other activities.
There is a tendency to consider that the youngest, having been born in a fully digitized society, are “native” users of new technologies. However, the smallest will not acquire the skill in the use of tools, nor the possibility of extending concrete skills to the entire digital field without learning specifically aimed at these skills. It is at this point that learning programming is crucial, and where a project like Scratch makes sense.
Register in Scracht
Scratch is indicated for children from 8 years, but we can start earlier if an adult helps the child by teaching and supervising its use . For this reason, we recommend that the adult register in advance and become familiar with the project. In this article we will cover the registration process and we will stop using it for new deliveries.
Once on the project page, click on “Join Scratch” and fill in the form with a username and password. If you use an existing username, it will give you a notice to change it, you must also type the password twice.
Getting started with Scratch
Once we enter, you will find the link to ” Learn to do a project in Scratch ” that leads to the editing page of a new project (program). The program is based on graphics to which we will give instructions through a simple interface.
To get acquainted with this interface we find a tutorial “Start with Scratch”, which will guide us in carrying out our first project. We can follow this tutorial from the editing page, as we see in the image below, so when we finish the tutorial we will be able to carry out our first program with Scratch and, most importantly, we will be able to help our children in their first steps in the world of programming.
On the home page you will also find access to startup projects created by the Scratch team. A review of them will allow us to have a more exact vision of the possibilities offered by Look inside them to make changes and add their ideas.
It is also highly recommended to spend some time on the parent page where you will find along with the links, the most frequently asked questions and the start guide and other aids, a TED talk by Mitch Resnick the founder of the Scratch project and other aids.