We looked at the coding website of Scratch in the seminar, which I found difficult to use. We were unable to use the instruction cards due to a fault with the system therefore I was unsure how to make the coding link to the sprite (which carried out the coding). I think before I used this in school I would need some more practice using the programme, as I would feel unable to explain to the children what they had to do or able to support them in using the programme.
The programme had some clear benefits, such as helping the children to use algorithms and debugging skills. The programme had quite a lot of freedom and the children can input as many different instructions as they like in different orders, allowing creativity and individuality. The programme also allows the children to create their own background and choose different sprites, which makes the programme more exciting and creative.
Source About the Benefits of Scratch
This source is useful to show the different qualities of Scratch. It says that the programme can be used for storytelling and simple animations, as well as fun and interactive games. The programme is available in over 50 different languages and the colourful images will make coding more interesting and engaging for the children. The children will learn about “sprites, the stage, and how to create loops using blocks” which therefore introduces them to programming language.
This was the second programme we looked at, which allowed the children to take part in coding. This allows children of all ages to develop programming skills, as well as problem solving skills. Flowol supports many programming elements:
- Sequences of instructions
- Branching using decisions
- Loops (infinite, or based on a condition or count)
- Variables and simple variable manipulation
- Sub-procedures (parameters optional)
- Multiple parallel threads
The programme sets real life scenarios, for example turning the light on in a lighthouse, which will engage the children, as what they are programming therefore has more meaning.
Dots and Dashes
We also looked at Dots and Dashes, which are similar to the bee-bots, where children can programme the course by inputting the algorithm. I would need to look at how to programme these in more detail before I used them in a classroom, however I am sure that they would really engage the children and help them with inputting algorithms.