Scratch Work Leads to Further Research
As I reflected on my first experience with the Scratch poetry project in my classroom, I realized that there was more going on than just writing poetry or my students and I getting to know each other. I wanted to know what other benefits I could provide to my students by using Scratch in my classroom. I went back to the source and approached the TCNJ professors who had created the summer camp where I first learned about Scratch. They introduced me to the concept of computational thinking. I was intrigued by this and started to research the idea further.
In a 2006 article in Viewpoint, Jeannette Wing defines computational thinking as “…solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science.” As it turns out, those concepts of computer science—collaboration, deconstruction, abstraction, pattern recognition, algorithm creation, and recursion—are the elements that allowed me to create so much excitement in my classroom during Scratch creation. The video featured above gives a great explanation of how Scratch brings computational thinking to the students through a natural process of development.