PROGRAMMING in SCRATCH
Innovation and creativity are two words heard frequently in education today. An intuitive Visual Programming Language course brings innovation and creativity to a classroom environmentwhich makes it motivating, interesting,diverse, fun, creative, and collaborative. Visual Programming Language has integrated curriculum in which children broadly explore knowledge in various subjectson both the primary and secondary school levels.
Scratch is a visual programming language that enables children to create interactive media, such as animations, games, and stories. It alsoprovides a context and a set of opportunities for contributing to the active conversations about computational thinking which involves an understanding of themselves, their relationships, and the technological world around them.
Collaborative Learning (CL)
The Scratch online community is designed to engage members of all levels of expertise, ages, and backgrounds in learning from one another as they create and play together. It also has a discussion forum, where members can ask questions, converse about Scratch-related topics, and find collaborators. The participants take the initiative to help others—from answering questions in the website discussion forums to creating interactive tutorials to share their skills.
Community Roles and Responsibilities
Scratch, which is a programming interactive media, supports the development of computational thinking as well as roles and responsibilities in life.
The learnersin the community learn to carry out their responsibilities in collaboration with other team members to eventually develop their visions for improving the community. The learners within the online community work with each other as part of a team and serve in leadership roles, such as peer tutors, assistants and counsellors.
By participating inthese roles, the learners expand their vision and craft new ideas for what is possible in the community.
Project Misha in Scratch
This Programming project is based on the world, the characters and Grand storyline of
an animation called “Misha the Dandelion Seed”.The learners who participate in this project develop the world, the characters, and the Grand storyline. The learners work on creating The Misha Project online communities by exploring other learners’ works and downloading and remixing each other’s works.
The world is basically the same as we created for the animation. However, the specific attributes of the world are developed by the students.
2. The characters
The characters are the ones that we created for the animation. Although the characters are the most important assets of the story, the character development is important and we let the characters grow and change through the conflicts to reach their goals, which make them more human through this project.
3. Grand Storyline
The Grand storyline is composed of the overarching conflicts. We create more conflicts which give more opportunities to raise the survival stakes and introduce new characters and obstacles. The learners will make a plot diagram about the Grand Storyline.
We will make a storyboard which is composed of a sequence of scenes,
each of which represents a view controller and its views based on the grand storyline.
How Misa the Dandelion Seed was created -
It was in 2014 that the story was created during a Multicultural Studies class at
Hamamatsu Gakuin University. We decided to make an animation inspiring children to make their world a better place.
The world we created reflects the reality of daily life, where there are social inequalities and discrimination rooted in race, ethnic differences, social class, gender, and so on. As children grow up in middle to late childhood, they come to understand how inequalities affect their lives. This animation project tells children that they have the potential to transform their lives. Our world depicts a small segment of the world of nature through a Dandelion seed’s eyes. The world is from your character’s perspective. So, in many ways, it’s the children’s experiences in life that guide character development. Thisgives children a wide range of ideas to work with.
2. The characters
The characters are not human beings but anthropomorphic creatures. Anthropomorphic characters can do things that children cannot. They can fly in the sky and go quite deep in the sea where dangers lurk. Anthropomorphic characters transcend international and cultural boundaries. Children can identify with an anthropomorphic character who looks quite different from other characters with different skin color and other features.
(A) Misha the dandelion seed was born with a a different color. She flies alone without other dandelion seeds because she looks different from them. She flies in a storm and gets caught by some bugs and her heart almost breaks off and feels like there is no hope left.
C.However, Misha encounters other dandelion seeds who are alienated from their groups because of their color differences. Misha and her new friends fly by helping each other and survive a hard journey.
D. They finally find a grassland on which the sun is shining down. They bloom there and create a dandelion field that is more brilliant and vivid with various colors, other than regular yellow ones, because each of them has his/her own different characteristics.
Why dandelion seeds were chosen as characters of our story ?
There are interesting and fun facts about the Dandelion Flowers
In most parts of the world, dandelions grow wild in fields and the seeds of dandelions travel miles and miles to eventually reach the ground that it will eventually inhabit. Dandelions flourish in any habitat that can provide enough sunlight. strength, positivity, progress and survival.
Many believe that the dandelion represents the sun, moon and starsin their stages of life: the yellow flower, the sun; airy white puffballs, a full moon; seeds carried by the wind, stars.
When we walk in the street and happen to see a yellow flower that grows out of the pavement, shining out bright in the ugly and bleak areas of the city, it makes us feel happy and rich. It helps us to realize how something can be soft, beautiful andpowerful at the same time.
In yards all over the world, there comes a time each year when the temperatures turn from chilly to warm and millions of tiny yellow flowers bloom. All those beautiful flowers eventually turn to white puffballs.
Dandelion seeds fly by spinning their feathery parachutes in the breeze. They will extend them fully in good weather. If rain is on the way, however, they will fold like an umbrella and remain tightly closed.
Children like to pick the white puff balls, make a wish, and then blow the seeds into the wind.
What is Misha’s Adventure symbolic of ?
Diversity, creativity and innovation
Misha is symbolic of migrants, settler, newcomer, and so on who travel outside their country of origin to other places to live. Misha is symbolic of the creativity and innovation that diversity brings to the world.
Planning an International Programming Project
HIS and YMIS learners are expected to envision a community where they and other young people can create and share their projects in a supportive and safe environment.
HIS and YMIS have built the collaborative learning communities with
a school in Davao City, Philippines.
The learners are actively designing, inventing, and building an artifact together by answering questions, providing constructive feedback and keeping discussions friendly in the online community. Within the online community, they help each other to deal with challenges as well as develop planning, problem solving, and communication skills. All of this gives them the ability to work as a team as they function as peer tutors with thesupport of our instructors and facilitators. Through collaborative learning, they learn their various responsibilities, looking to each other to learn how to fulfill them. Finally, the project allows them to engage in creative activities in collaboration with learners of diverse cultural backgrounds. Such active participation can foster an environment where the learners are actively taking ownership of the community and giving back in multiple ways.