III.2 - Description of the method

To describe the method we will focus on a specific tool: Scratch.

Scratch is a programming language and online community that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, games, and animations—and share your creations online. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively, while also learning important mathematical and computational ideas. Young people around the world have shared more than 40 million projects on the Scratch website, with tens of thousands of new projects shared every day.

Scratch was designed and developed at the MIT Media Lab, in a research group called Lifelong Kindergarten. The tool is designed for children (although it is also used by many adults) and has a deep pedagogical grounding linked to Constructionism.

The advantages of Scratch as a tool are that it:

·         is online and free, you don’t need to install any special software to start creating

·         is multiplatform and works on computers as well as tablets and mobile phones

·         is available many languages

·         allows intuitive learning through discovery and exploration

·         can be used to create digital stories, games, artistic projects, simulations, etc

·         allows the sharing and mixing of creations via the Internet

·         gives access to a huge community

·         is easy to start creating projects (low floor) while allowing advanced users to create complex projects (high ceiling) offers a wide range of activities and foci for learning (wide walls)

·         allows the mixing of different media, digital and also traditional.

·         has extensions for playing with music, giving voice to characters (recording or text-to-speech), and connecting the story on screen with the outside world (sensors, robots, etc.).