Sunday, February 6, 2011

Scratch Project- By Kate

This week we played on scratch together as a family. But, tonight, I created something that was inspired by a couple of Scratch pieces on the gallery - The stick person represents our daughter, Samantha, who introduces our family via a slideshow - with her request, we added bits of music, recorded voices, and hid pictures - although not very complicated, it still took a while to figure out the order of the commands. Sam wanted to do a Mad Lib (like seen in the examples) but I was already half-way completed with this. Perhaps a Mad Lib is line this week!

PS> I can't figure out why this keeps playing (even though I haven't pressed the green flag) anyone know why?

Learn more about this project

When I think about “What’s new about new media?” I think of all the powerful ideas being found through playful learning that we don't always appreciate! I think when kids are given the time to explore and delve into projects then their learning is being celebrated and acknowledged. Just as Resnick said this week: "We need to provide people with new models for thinking about the process of learning. They need to see learning as a process of designing, creating, experimenting, and exploring – not a process of receiving or acquiring information." His definition of play says it all, "play is a process of experimenting, trying new things, testing the boundaries, exploring what’s possible. Play does not need to be associated with toys and games. It’s an attitude, an approach, a style of engagement." That definition - should be the definition we should carry over into our work - too!

These two quotes are at the center of what I think is "new" about 'new media' - - It is an attitude when a teacher or parent is open to these new models for thinking. When a child wants to figure out how to build a house/castle in minecraft - it is an approach when a child utilizes the Internet to research how to build that castle, and it is certainly engaging to that child. And if the castle does not work out - then one might say the experiment had a hiccup and it is back to the drawing board. Resnick makes the point that one should test the boundaries - when learning - so shouldn't parents and teachers - open their minds to the possibilities! I feel that sometimes we tell kids NOT to test the boundaries - "listen to us we will tell you how to do it." This reminds me of Harold and the Purple Crayon - he created his own world, right? And we celebrate this book - but we do not actually celebrate this sort of learning. What's new about new media? I think what's new is that we are becoming more aware of the exploration, the "new" models of learning/thinking, and the discoveries within new media - rather than dismissing it - I think there is a larger percentage of people now that are more aware/accepting than there use to be. . . .

Playing with Scratch was a new model for thinking! The entire process reminded me of Papert's work and Resnick's playful learning - because I have to admit, I was playing - even though it was 'hard work' - it was still enjoyable, experimental, and definitely engaging - it kept my attention. It is also a safe environment to make mistakes and to start again. Scratch has the capability to engage learners in all areas: reading, math, science, social studies, etc. - it is a powerful tool - who knows what someone may invent by using this tool - all the possibilities - that's a powerful idea right there!


  1. Kate,

    that's a lovely project :) ...and daughters that you have!

    I think it keeps playing if you don't have an end command in your project, but I'm not entirely sure if this is the reason. I just clicked the red button to stop, and it did here.

  2. Hey Kate!

    "PS> I can't figure out why this keeps playing (even though I haven't pressed the green flag) anyone know why?" - I am guessing that the green flag acts as a start button when the page is open. When I press the red button, it does stop and work as intended. I am guessing that if you were to change the WHEN GREEN FLAG IS PRESSED to WHEN SPACEBAR IS PRESSED, it would work like you wanted it to. =) I think this is a great project! I love the pictures of your family and how you tied in the interests of your children into the project. I also love the connection to Harold and the Purple Crayon haha =)

    I agree with you - new media also includes a new type of attitude. Its collaboration, creation, and moving into places that are new or sometimes scary. It is also the persistence to continue, even when things do not work out right.