Want to get your kids interested in robotics? or learn about basic computing? create game narratives? Let’s start with programming.
Scratch is a free software (shared under the Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike license) that provides easy access to programming: “Create and share your own interactive stories, games, video and art”. The Scratch software is free to download and available for Mac, Windows and Linux computers. Educators have adopted the program to expand their students’ understand of geometry and logical reasoning among other disciplines.
A curriculum guide was posted in September 23, 2011. It provides a series of twenty 60-minute sessions, and includes session plans, handouts, projects, and videos: http://scratched.media.mit.edu/resources/scratch-curriculum-guide-draft
The support material provides you with a “Getting Started” to a “Scratch Tour”. However, I particularly like the Video Tutorials. Most of them are short around a minute; the longest staying under 3 minutes. Characters are called sprites. Here is a video on how to change your sprite and your sprite color:
Now imagine that you can make your Scratch project interact with the outside world: Enter LEGO Education WeDo robotics kit. Scratch dedicates a site for all the resources: http://info.scratch.mit.edu/WeDo
Here is a video on how to interact with your sprite by moving your hand: Use the LEGO WeDo distance sensor to interact with characters in a Scratch project. [hey! Kinect! You’ve got some competition coming soon!)
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