Monday, October 25, 2010


I am at heart a wannabe computer programmer. I dabble in programing, especially in HTML and PHP code, but I really just know enough to do damage rather than create anything. But programming logic just makes sense to me. One of my favorite things to teach and work with is Lego Robotics, and I specifically worked a good deal with the Robotics Invention System (RIS) 1.0 & 2.0. When I heard that the MIT Media lab (who had collaborate with Lego on the RIS) had created a programming language targeting k-12 students that had the same type of drag and drop blocks that RIS has, I was dying to work with it. But as with most things, it was pushed to the side and I didn't get a chance to really dive in. This summer I made it a priority at ISTE to take advantage of the workshops on ScratchMitch Resnick, the creator of Scratch at MIT, held a BYOL session at ISTE that was one of the best sessions I attended.  We did some pretty basic programming in Scratch, but I could see the potential.  Now, I just needed to find a faculty member who would be interested in trying out Scratch in their classroom.  Luckily, I didn't have to wait too long.  Dr. Micha Jefferies came to me asking how we could take an existing project she used with her elementary education students, creating a board game, and using technology to create the game. This was the perfect opportunity for students to use Scratch to create content-based games.  The purpose of our technology integration was not to learn how to program, but how to use this technology to teach a specific content.  I plan on posting a series about our project and how it is developing this semester.

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