This morning I received an email from a teacher asking for help with a Scratch project. A student needed help getting a sprite to appear at a random corner of the screen whenever the game was started. There was a Scratch project attached to the email, but as I read, I realized I did not have to look at the existing code. I could see, in my head, the blocks I would use and how I would assemble them.
It felt really good to be able to solve a problem on the fly, and I realized it would have taken much longer if I had not been spending so much time in Scratch over the past couple of days (conference session at VSTE, workshop at Dinwiddie Middle School, and my own child’s project at home).
When John Hendron and I attended the Scratch Conference at MIT this summer, we heard many speakers discuss the benefits of using Scratch. This habit of thinking logically through problems seemed to be at the top of everyone’s list. I understand that this spontaneous visualization of Scratch blocks in my head is a result of immersion over the past few days. Still, it makes me even more eager to get teachers using Scratch in their classrooms. I don’t mean getting teachers to do a single Scratch project during the school year, but using Scratch consistently over time to reinforce and apply valuable concepts. That’s how it will have an impact on kids’ lives.