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Scratch – Create your own video game and learn to code.

Posted December 11, 2013 by Nick LaFave under Content Creation

Looking for a way to celebrate Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 7-13)?  Why not check out the “Hour of Code?”  It’s an effort to encourage teachers and students to spend an hour learning computer science.

My Food Web Game (in progress)
My students and I took part in Hour of Code by trying out Scratch.  Scratch allows you to snap blocks of code together to create games, animations, simulations, etc. It was easy to learn, and a lot of fun.  We also quickly learned that coding takes a lot of planning, and quality products definitely take longer than an hour. This introduction did however generate some interest and resulted in the creation of an extra-credit assignment.

Why teach coding?   I learned about Scratch from a TED Talk by MIT’s Mitch Resnick who describes today’s students as “it’s almost as if they can read but not write with new technologies.”  He points to the importance of becoming fluent in new technologies.

Try it out with a step-by-step intro here, or try the Hour of Code holiday card tutorial here. Why not check out a lesson page, complete with a tutorial handout?

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