Computer programming is a new type of literacy. We think coding should be for everyone, just like writing. Even young children can learn to program their own interactive stories and games.
That’s why we’re taking our popular Scratch Camp format and bringing it to a younger audience so that kids have a chance to start coding even earlier!
September 17, we’re hosting a PBS Kids ScratchJr Code Camp.
What is Scratch Jr.?
ScratchJr is an introductory programming language inspired by the popular Scratch program, used by millions of young people around the world. In ScratchJr, the interface and programming language were redesigned to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match their cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.
Then PBS Kids and ScratchJr partnered together to make coding even more appealing to kids. With the PBS Kids ScratchJr app, young people can create their own stories and games featuring their favorite characters from shows like Wild Kratts, Nature Cat, WordGirl and Peg + Cat.
Why is ScratchJr Important?
As young children code with ScratchJr, they learn how to create and express themselves with the computer, not just to interact with it. In the process, children learn to solve problems and design projects, and they develop sequencing skills that are foundational for later academic success. They also use math and language in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of early-childhood numeracy and literacy.
With ScratchJr, children aren’t just learning to code, they are coding to learn.
I shared a few thoughts on last week’s Scratch Camp over on the iThemes blog, but I wanted to talk about one of the things that touched me most here.
After each camp, we send a survey to parents asking for their feedback. But we also really love to get it straight from our campers.
Kids don’t hold back. If they loved it, they’ll use all the exclamation points they can fit on the page. If they were bored, they’ll skip the sugar coating and tell you that too. And after all, everything’s a little cuter when written in Crayola.
Out of the mouths of babes
Here are a few of the feedback forms we got from campers:
Hard fun promotes passionate learning.
Can you guess the thing about our camper’s feedback forms that really stuck with me?
“I had some struggles. It was hard, but fun!”
To an educator, that’s some of the the best feedback you can get. Because learning doesn’t happen on accident. Even if the end result is something you really want, it takes work and diligence to get there.
Let kids try and fail and then try again, that’s where learning begins!
As adults, we’re quick to preach the “learning is fun” mantra, but perhaps it would better serve the next generation to say, “Learning can be really tough…but fun comes once you grasp the skill, so the hard work is worth it!”
If we teach well, we can guide our kids and students gracefully through the parts that are just plain hard work, knowing that excitement and fun are on the other side.
Scratch Day is a global network of events that celebrates Scratch and the young people who code and create with it. To celebrate, The Div is hosting a Scratch Camp in Oklahoma City!
What is Scratch?
Scratch is a visual programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT. Scratch makes it easy for children to program their own interactive stories, games and animations, and share these creations with others in the online community. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively— essential skills for life in the 21st century.
If you’ve ever wanted to get involved with The Div, now’s your chance! Join us on Saturday, April 16th from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM for a free Scratch training led by experienced educator, Dr. Wesley Fryer. We’ll be walking through an overview of the Scratch program and how it helps kids learn to code, as well as providing the activities and tools to facilitate a Scratch Camp.
What is Scratch?
Scratch is a visual programming language developed at MIT that allows kids to develop a range of problem solving that will help them when they move on to real-world programming. Despite its simple interface, it allows users to create complex animations and games, and learn many fundamental coding concepts.
Why are we doing this?
The Div relies on community support to advance our mission to bring computer science learning opportunities to kids in Oklahoma. We are looking for teachers, parents and capable practitioners who work in the tech industry to help us lead kids camps.
This workshop is a great opportunity to get involved with The Div, or just learn a little more about using Scratch on your own, in the classroom or with your children at home. If you have questions about registration or about The Div, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, April 16 we’re offering a Scratch camp training session led by Dr. Wesley Fryer. With this workshop, we want to equip educators to confidently share Scratch with young learners.
Understanding technology is an important part of literacy in today’s society and when kids learn to code in Scratch, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects and communicating ideas.
“I’m so thrilled to be working with Dr. Wesley Fryer again with our restart of The Div and Div Jr.,” said Cory Miller, Board President of The Div. “He’s an experienced educator, extremely passionate about improving the lives of kids through technology and has an incredible vision that is going to be invaluable for us as we seek to make an impact in Oklahoma, and beyond.”
This is a great opportunity to find out how you can get involved with The Div, or just learn a little more about teaching Scratch.
Full details coming soon! Sign up for our newsletter to receive more information when it is announced.