This week students were asked to watch an instructional video on animation making. My initial thoughts on the topic were that animation making was some type of gaming or game creating software and that it is just for fun. However when I began to play and use the scratch video I found it quite perplexing. Frustratedly, I decided to utilize YouTube as much as possible to educate and familiarize myself with the online program. I also searched the Google to find some helpful tips on how to use the codes in order to make my animation work more smoothly.
I ensured to watch the suggested video on the student Blackboard, and after familiarizing myself with the scratch website, I decided to view other students animations and study some of the codes that these students had used. After viewing what the other students used for their video codes, I had a clearer idea of how to make my sprite’s move and perform miscellaneous actions. Once I learnt how to move and control my main sprite, I added 7 more sprites and I followed the same procedure to move them around the scene. I found the scratch website quiet difficult and glitchy, even after obtaining background information on how to use the site, I still struggled. This was exacerbated due to my slow internet speeds. The main reason I found this site difficult is due to having to use the website’s codes to animate the sprites and my limited knowledge of them.
Despite all the difficulties I have had, my initial thoughts have changed after using this program as I believe this program is a useful resource in teaching and learning for all ages. Firstly I believe it is a great way get students to become more familiar with other technologies such as YouTube and the Google database. The Scratch website also has an online educators community, which has 7500 members sharing ideas, exchanging ideas and discussions on educational use of scratch (Scratch day, 2014). Another reason the site is a useful tool in learning and teaching is that it provides teacher’s with a visual program to demonstrate or express mathematical concepts and the animation approach is suitable for visual and read/write learning styles. The program also provides students with an opportunity to design their own animation, be creative and familiarize themselves different technologies. This approach is related to Connectivism theory, which states that knowledge can be expressed and accessed through other online users who are participating in shared activities. Connectivism also states that knowledge exists around us rather than just in our heads (Howell, 2012). When thinking about ethical or physical consideration for the classroom, I believe there are no major issues for concern as the program is family friendly and presents no harm with the supervision of a teacher or parent.
URL to scratch animation created; http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/29641054/
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT :Digital Pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab. (n.d). About Scratched for educators. Retrieved from http://scratch.mit.edu/educators/
Scratch Day. (2014). Scratch Day [Image]. Retrieved from http://day.scratch.mit.edu/resources