Scratch JR and Kibo were created around the same time through an National Science Foundation grant. Today we are going to dig into Scratch JR.
When thinking about Scratch JR there are a few things to note:
- ScratchJR was designed to be simple and visual appealing with minimal text
- Scratch JR has been downloaded over 11.5 million times since July 2015
- Over 20 million projects have been created
- Think of yourself as a director of a play and you get to decide where there characters go and what happens
- You are creating a story with a beginning, middle, and end within up to four pages
- This image to the right is an example of how a character will jump in Scratch and Scratch JR
- There is a Scratch JR PBS Kids app containing story starters and popular PBS kids characters
- Check out the lessons that Scratch JR PBS Kids has already put together for you
Crazy Character Algorithms
We started with an unplugged lesson that reminds me of Crazy Characters Algorithms from Barefoot EDU . I had to give my partner directions to draw a snail. I got to see an image of a snail, she did not. I had to give her directions to make a snail with the goal to make it look the same. She did great! Having done an activity similar to this before, I knew that I had to be specific in my directions.
Scratch JR Cards
As adults, we used these Scratch JR Coding Cards to learn about features of Scratch JR through activity cards. These cards were created for adults to use as they explore the app. This activity reminded me of the Simon Says lesson I created for students to explore Scratch JR.
Scratch JR Pass on Activity
We had 10 minutes to create a program in Scratch JR. Then, we were told to find someone in the room and let them do anything they wanted to do to it to add onto the story for about 10 minutes. Following that, we gave our iPads back to each other and got to explore our projects and the updates were made.
Interview with Amanda Sullivan
We were able to have a half hour Skype interview Amanda Sullivan. Learn more about Amanda Sullivan.
Topics covered include:
- Associate Director of the Graduate Certificate Early Childhood Technology
- Gender and engaging girls in stem beginning in early childhood
- Less than 15% of engineers are women
- Less than 25% of computer and math scientists are women
- What are the ethical implications of technology when they are created by a population of people that is dominated by one gender?
- cell phone size
- apps that don't take into consideration female qualities
- Early experiences matter
- Start young and continue strong
- Inform yourself and others about the impact of stereotypes
- Foster a growth mindset
- Think about the way you give compliments
- Talk about the hard work and approaches vs "you are so smart"
- Provide diverse stem role models
- Picture books with role models
- Sharing female engineers
- Bringing people into your classroom
- Foster awareness and compassion in boys
- Something as simple as moms building IKEA furniture can have an impact
- Take a look at your own behavior
- Do you call on boys/girls more in particular subjects?
- Do you model a joy for troubleshooting?
- Celebrate and engineering mindset
- Amanda is working on a book
- Breaking the STEM Stereotype coming out 2018
- You can join her mailing list to stay up to date by completing this form bit.ly/sullivanbooklist
- American Association of University Women - learn more about stereotypes and stereotype threat
- When talking about group work, pair programming, individual work in the classroom, a quote she referenced from Dr. Marina Bers resonated with me:
"You don't learn to write by sharing a pencil"
- Amanda found that stereotypes are being developed everywhere
- Home, school, media
- The biggest influences are parents, peers, siblings
- "Boys are better at building because his dad builds with him and his mom gets flustered when she does."
- In one classroom she worked with, the mainstream teacher was female and her class went to a technology class with a male teacher. This gave the impression to the kids that men were better at technology then women.
- Research in high school shows
- Kids will identify a peer leader and agree with what they say
- Research on same gender groups
- If you introduce one person of a different gender to the group, it will change the dynamics greatly
- If the groups are same gender, they tend to play with stereotypical topics
We took about a half an hour to share our projects that we had time to work on today. Each person or group went to the front of the room to share their project using the document camera with the camera.