Scratch gives children a fantastic introduction to computer programming. It is used in a range of learning environments – classrooms, educational and computer science research, libraries, museums and at home.
To find out more check out the ScratchEd online community.
This new version of Scratch does not need a download of software, it can be accessed inside a browser so pupils can work on their games at home as well as in school. This is really going to inspire some children.
It is still very easy to use – with options to simply drag and drop chunks of code. The whole screen is made up of two clear parts side by side. You build the program on the right hand side and then on the left you can see what is happening.
The various command options are shown below: Motion, Looks, Sound, Pen, Data, Events, Control, Sensing, Operators and More Blocks. Some of the more advanced options may be too difficult for primary school children, but the first four and sensing will get them going really quickly.
The Pen option is currently selected. When the space bar is pressed the first of the programs displayed above will be executed. The pink pen is put down, move 90 steps forward and turn 60 degrees 6 times thus making a hexagon. Changing the number of steps changes the distance each line travels and thus the size of the shape.
The second little program simply clears the screen when the green flag is pressed.
As users get more proficient they can build up a chain of programs to work together.
There are lots of videos to get you started at https://www.123ict.co.uk/scratch/