When it comes to modern education, technology and creativity should go hand in hand.
Visual programming community Scratch has been helping students understand this principle for the best part of a decade – and on Monday ACS hosted its creator Mitchel Resnick as part of the ICT Educators Global Leaders Series.
Speaking to a room full of educators at the UTS Aerial Function Centre, Resnick shared insight into how children can benefit more broadly from the skills they learn using Scratch.
“Our main goal is not to help prepare the professional programmers of the future, we want everybody to be able to use the computer as a way of expressing themselves.”
“We feel these qualities and the skills of reasoning systematically, working collaboratively and thinking creatively are important for everybody in today’s society.”
Developed by Resnick and the MIT Media Lab, Scratch allows students aged eight and up to create animations, games and stories using an introductory coding language.
There are now over 33 million registered Scratch users. In 2017 alone there were 8 million new users.
“Doing these types of projects that kids do in Scratch helps prepare everyone – whether they grow up to be a journalist, marketing manager or engineer – these skills will really be something they can put to play.”
Resnick explained the parallels between coding and more traditional educational styles.
“We really take seriously the analogy between coding and writing,” he said.
“We all agree that kids learning to write is very important, but we don’t have kids learn to write because we expect them to grow up to become professional writers.
“When you learn to write, you learn how to organize and express and share your ideas.
“We see coding the same way. When these kids are creating these projects, they’re learning to organize and express themselves and share their ideas – just as you do when you learn to write.”
To catch Resnick’s entire presentation, click here.