I spent the last few days of my summer break in Boston attending the Scratch Conference at MIT. I have so much to share with teachers. This, added to what I saw and did earlier in the summer, has me very excited about this new school year. I just need to get all my thoughts organized so I can share with teachers and students.
It was great getting to hear Mitch Resnick and his colleagues speak about Scratch, the culture that surrounds it, and the new developments we can all anticipate. Scratch is truly an amazing tool for 21st century learning. I have lots of new ideas of what to do with Scratch. And, I learned about a really cool new tool to help everyone get started with Scratch. Take a look at the cool stuff you can make using DesignBlocks.
But, not everything was about Scratch. We got to hear a panel discussion in which Sherri Turkle and Henry Jenkins shared thoughts about participatory culture and how technology has changed the way we behave, both privately and in public.
I have to confess, when my travel companions were going on and on about how excited they were to hear Henry Jenkins, I was not sure who he was. I can remember numbers and images, but never names… A quick Google search took me to his blog (very cool, by the way) and got me just as excited. I started my summer teaching Scratch, then spent the middle part of my summer reading about games in education, and here I was at the Scratch conference listening to the man behind Ed Arcade, which had provided a lot of the information I’d read in Orlando at the Apple Institute. Pretty cool.
So, my summer has come full circle, from Scratch, to games, and back to Scratch AND games. Next, get all this into teachers’ heads and students’ hands. It is going to be a fun school year.