Semester 2, Week 9
In todays seminar we looked at a programme called scratch. I have never used this programme before so I found it interesting to see how children could use it do develop their ICT programming skills. I found this programme to be more difficult and complex that the other programmes we have previously used. I think the children definitely need a lesson on how to use scratch before they begin to explore the page.
The step by step cards are good because they would allow children to build up their knowledge and confidence.
There are lots of codes which can be used on scratch for many different things. For example, changing costume, speaking, sound effects or changing backgrounds. Once the children know how to use the programme they can have fun with it by exploring the features.
This website has links which show you how to use scratch. This will be helpful for teachers because it is important they are confident with the programme before they use it in the classroom with the children. They need to be one step ahead so they can offer help and support.
I wasn’t very confident using scratch so I would need to get more practice and guidance before I would feel comfortable using the programme with a group of children.
We then moved on to look at a programme called Flowol4. I liked this programme because it used real life situations and it would allow children to think practically.
The children can pick a scene such as ; a lighthouse, traffic lights or a house. They have to use their programming skills to create a code which makes all of the components work. For example, for the light house they would have to make the light turn on for a few seconds, then off for a few seconds and repeat this process. It allows children to see how algorithms, coding and debugging is used in the world we live in.
In the guardian there is an article about teaching coding in Primary schools. It talks about how coding is helping to ‘fill a gap’ where children can lack technical knowledge for future jobs. I think scratch and Flowol4 would be effective programmes to support this idea as they allow children to develop their knowledge and understand how coding and programming works. They help children to break things down so they can see all the small components and programme effectively. This article is aimed at parents and talks about what the children will be learning and how to help them prepare for this. I think this is important as many parents don’t know about coding because they weren’t taught it as a child.