Scratch from MIT – Coding with blocks

scratch

Here’s a product that revolutionized the way coding was taught around the world.

Engineers at MIT Media Lab started with a simple idea of making blocks of codes. This coding for kids free website replaced the method of teaching students how to write the actual coding languages or syntax.

They made code blocks draggable to enable creation of a sequence of code that works together to make animations, games, stories, etc.

The service is available in 70+ languages, hence it accessible to users across the globe.

Following is an overview of Scratch coding platform:

Price: Free

Age: 8-18+ years

Platforms: Web (Scratch Junior, for Age 5-7 years, is available for Apple, Android, Chrome and Amazon)

Purpose/How it helps students

The slogan of the learning platform is “Imaging, Program, and Share.”

It encourages users to creatively combine, reuse and share code blocks. The program was developed to enable students to develop additional skills in after-school programs to develop abilities to invent and design.

Growth opportunities

Students who learn coding with the simple method of Stratch develop skills that equip them to learn Java and Python coding syntaxes easily.

Fun fact: The name of the program is based on the Scratching technique used by DJs to mix sound effects by manipulating Vinyl records on a turntable. In this program, users can create different games, animations etc. by mixing together images, sound, programs and more.

Scratch coding User Interface

The user interface of the coding software has three sections–Stage area, Block palette, and Coding area.

Scratch User Interface
Scratch User Interface

How Scratch works

Users pick blocks of codes from the Block palette to add to the Coding area. The action/function corresponding to the selected code block occurs in the stage area.

You can choose sprites (characters and objects) and background from the given library, upload them in picture form, or create some using Paint Editor available in the Scratch software.

Types of code blocks

The code blocks available in the Scratch software are under various categories:

Motion, Looks, Pen, Data, Events, Control, Sensing, Operators, and More blocks.

These categories have various code blocks that help users integrate various functions to their Coding area.

Community

Scratch Wiki is a repository of information on Scratch educational programming language and its website. The community is run by Scratchers (users of scratch) and Scratch Team (developers of the software).

With a strong platform and a great community, learners—kids and adults—get a chance to carry out amazing projects with Scratch.

It requires no knowledge of programming syntaxes and is free to use, and hence is accessible to users across the globe.

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