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3 experts have answered

expert answer
Chris Puttick expert
Chris Puttick CEO, chief assistant to the duck GB
E-safety expert

Scratch was designed for use by children - although at sometime in secondary you'd hope they'd have moved on to some more general and all round useful programming language e.g. Python.

Scratch is attractive to schools because of its focus on fun, graphical outputs, which have the greatest chance of engaging the mass of students, and is capable of instilling the basics of programming. However for constructing useful software one really needs something else, so a teenager (for example) who has expressed an interest in learning programming Scratch is not the best way forward.

2 Reply Share:
Fact 3 years ago
expert answer
Bob Harding expert
Bob Harding ICT Consultant Bremhill, GB
Education expert

I agree with both Chris and Patrick BUT ...

Text based languages are frustrating and probably unnecessary for the vast majority, in the real world most people get by just fine without knowing how to program at all! Obviously there is a specialist element and there should definitely be an opportunity for all to experiment to find out if programming is for them and scratch is a good place to start.

Moving on from scratch to Google Blockly is a great step. Here a visual editor can produce text based code (Python, Java etc) that can then be used and modified with minimal syntax frustration. With imaginative and thoughtful teaching Blockly can go a long way to create much of the code you might need.

The other problem is that Scratch is often used with no real consideration to programming - pupils 'play' and see where they get - OK to a point but - like fast food - it kind of leaves you full but not satisfied.

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Experience 3 years ago
expert answer
Patrick Carroll expert
Patrick Carroll Primary Teacher, ICT Coordinator Armthorpe, GB
Education expert

We use Scratch in my school because it is free, easy to install and dry creative throughout the curriculum. The children enjoy it and go home to create their own programmes. With other programming tools we didn't have the same response.

There are many resources and guides online to help you, there are networks of people online who who share great ideas. It is established and it is being developed to continue to challenge and advance learning.

As a primary school we are preparing our children from 7 yrs so that when they get to the secondary they can use the same platform easily.

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Experience 3 years ago

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