What is Scratch – According to wikipedia, “Scratch is a block-based visual programming language and online community targeted primarily at children. Users of the site can create online projects using a block-like interface. The service is developed by the MIT Media Lab, has been translated into 70+ languages, and is used in most parts of the world.
Scratch is taught and used in after-school centers, schools, and colleges, as well as other public knowledge institutions. As of January 2019, community statistics on the language’s official website show more than 46 million projects shared.
Scratch encourages the sharing, reuse and combination of code, as indicated by their slogan, “Imagine, Program, Share”. Kids can make their own projects, or they may choose to “remix” someone else’s project. Projects created and remixed with Scratch are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Scratch is designed to automatically give credit to the user who created the original project and program “
Scratch is the most widely used platform to introduce kids to the world of coding and making. Scratch is licensed under the GPLv2 (GNU Public License v2) and is available for free. As a block based programming language Scratch offers kids the opportunity to create games, animation, movies, interactive programs, sound tracks, etc. using a powerful block based commands. We also happen to use Scratch extensively at our codeclub. In fact, every kid who comes to our codeclub starts off their STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) learning journey with Scratch. They work extensively on Scratch for 3 – 4 school terms covering over 50-60 different Scratch projects. Scratch is an amazing, interactive platform that engages kids and brings out their innovative and creative streaks. It’s humbling to see what kids can do, given the opportunity, tools, guidance and support.
Here’s a screenshot of what Scratch 3 looks like –
- Some awesome new functionality introduced in Scratch 3 – Pen, Video Sensing, and Music blocks are now extensions offered by Scratch 3.
- Scratch 3 offers Video Sensing blocks as a new extension which allows you to capture images, video and use them to create interactive programs in Scratch.
- Scratch 3 can be used both on the computer and on mobile devices including tablets. You can now make and play projects on tablets and play them on phones, but currently you cannot edit projects on mobile phones.
- New Scratch 3 extensions: Text to Speech, Translate, Micro:bit, and Lego Mindstorms EV3.
- The integration with the BBC Micro:bit is what we are most excited about. This integration allows kids to build animation, games, interactive projects that allow use of the BBC Micro:bit board to control characters on screen.
- Quite a few blocks are in a different order. Events Blocks are the color of the Scratch 2.0 Control Blocks, and control blocks are a bit lighter than the old events blocks
- More Blocks has been renamed My Blocks, and is a shade of light red
Some default inputs (the inputs that show up in the Block Palette are different.
- Scratch 3 sports a completely new Paint Editor and Sound Editor
- Several extra options for the “touching ()?” boolean, including “any edge”, “mouse-position”, and “left edge”
Different fonts: Sans Serif (thin Helvetica), Serif (Times), Handwriting, Marker, Curly, Pixel, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
- The vector paint editor is now the default editor.
Here are some important links –
- Access the Scratch 3 website through this <Link>.
- The Raspberry Pi foundation have put together a Scratch 3 poster which can be accessed at the following link – <Download> .
- Head over to KidzCanCode for Scratch 2 and Scratch 3 tutorials. At
KidzCanCode you can access Scratch tutorials along with other free coding, electronics, robotics tutorials.
Here’s a preview of the Scratch 3 poster put together by the Raspberry Pi foundation.
Scratch 3 is a great and beautiful next step in the evolution of the Scratch development platform for kids. The Lifelong Kinder Garden Group at the MIT Media lab have outdone themselves yet again. We are privileged and I might add blessed to have such access to such an awesome development/coding platform for free!!!! So why wait, let’s get our kids going on their STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Match) learning journey right now!!!!