Before I came to the Scratch@MIT 2012, I have been eagerly anticipating it for long. Now as I finally am attending it, it is living up to all my expectations, and much more.
Not only that we have a chance to witness the latest development in Scratch, the opportunity to get to know what other people are doing around the world is really exciting. If I remember correctly, there are over 400 participants from 31 countries joining the conference. Although there is such a huge cultural difference among of us, Scratch is able to link up all of us within these few days, with the simple aim of sharing the use of Scratch in teaching and learning.
Three of the sessions were particularly inspiring. In Getting to know Scratch 2.0, new features were introduced which further enable collaboration and the incorporation of webcams as sensing device. These provide end users new dimensions to explore. In Designing Scratch 2.0, those MIT designers shared the rationales and struggles in designing new features in Scratch 2.0. The dialogues allow me to understand deeper the underlaying principles when they design Scratch and enable me to think of better ways to use Scratch in lessons. Finally, in Sensing Our World, people from UK shared their development of using ScratchBoard and home-made sensors to further enhance the versatility of Scratch. It is so encouraging to see that not only MIT but also many countries are exploring how to make Scratch even a better learning tools.
I would say that it is really rewarding to have a chance to see the latest development in the Scratch. And it is so exciting as well to see kids of 8 or 9 from countries like China, Japan etc., are doing extremely well in Scratch. The exchange is always vigorous but friendly and definitely fruitful. It has been a completely enjoyable experience for me.
The Scratch Development Team
Written by : Mr. Kyle Chan, Teacher of Marymount Secondary School