Saturday, January 22, 2011

Playing with Scratch

I started playing with Scratch about a year ago... Two days ago, I downloaded it again and I realized that I wasn't able to remember much! So I started experimenting with it again. I looked through all the options I had with the controls, the sounds, movements, backgrounds... I started with the yellow cat.. :) and then I added a butterfly... I happily discovered that I could have her say hello through the controls and also change her size from the buttons above the white screen.
Soon, Scratch and the butterfly were moving towards the right part of the screen and they were saying "Hello"! Easy task so far... How about adding some background? I searched my computer and found a picture from an online project I worked on... ok, imported... that was easy too! The process of playing with the controls and the commands was a bit challenging. I think it needs some practice though, until one can manage to be fast enough in programming animations on this (it was hard to figure out how to change the background after one clicks the space bar...).

I can definitely see the theory behind this tool. I can see the constructivist elements that we talked about in our last week's online class. Interacting with the tool, and at the end you have a product, an outcome, that is the result of your personal (in this case) learning process. I think I need to explore more those properties of Scratch in order to fully understand how it works. It is indeed a complex tool that takes time to master.

After looking at other projects on the Scratch site (it is amazing how creative children can be!!!) I wasn't confident for uploading it on the site... so I took some screenshots of the various modifications I made on my first project. I am hoping that throughout the next few weeks I will be able to have a decent animation project to share with the larger community!