MAS.714J | Fall 2009 | Graduate

Technologies for Creative Learning


This page presents the weekly activity assignments other than those directly related to the final project.

1. Scratch Project

For this week’s activity, you are asked to create a Scratch project to introduce yourself, and to add the project to the class gallery on the Scratch Web site by the end of the day before Ses #2 (just before our next class).

In class, we’ll be discussing our experiences with this activity. Some questions to think about:

  • As you created the project, what was most surprising? What was most difficult?
  • Reflect on the process of creating your Scratch project, using the framework of the creative learning spiral (described in the Resnick paper).
  • What resources did you use in learning Scratch and creating your project (tutorials, other people, etc.)?
  • What do you think you learned from this experience?

2. Scratch/WeDo Creation

For this week’s activity, you are asked to create a story that combines on-screen and off-screen, using LEGO® Education WeDo™ and Scratch.

To help you get started, here’s a Scratch/WeDo miniguide (PDF). Also consult our class collection of WeDo building instructions for different projects.

In class, we’ll be sharing our Scratch/WeDo creations and our experiences with the activity. Some questions to think about:

  • How did working with WeDo change your experience of working with Scratch?
  • How did working with others change your experience?

Examples of Student Work

“Caterpillar Love Story,” by KA and JC

“King Duck vs. Fatman Protagonist,” by DG and MN

  • Video: “King Duck vs. Fatman Protagonist.” September 25, 2009. Vimeo. Accessed May 25, 2010.

3. Scratch galleries

For this week’s activity, you are asked to create a gallery on the Scratch Web site with at least 10 projects related to a theme you are interested in.

To create a gallery of 10 projects:

  1. Sign in to your Scratch account
  2. Create a new gallery
  3. Find a project you’re interested in
  4. Click on the “Add to a gallery” link beneath the project
  5. Check the box next to your new gallery
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5
  7. Add a link to your gallery to the class blog as a comment

In class, we’ll be sharing our experiences with the activity. How did your experiences connect with new media literacies?

Examples of Student Work

Generated art/patterns DG  
Instrument learning JP My favorites are the last two: Drumstation2 and Record a Tune
NewsFlo FG From print to broadcast, and e-zines and photography to interactive publishing, my ‘NewsFlo’ gallery represents a condensed but varied selection of news media. And of course it includes our cat-correspondent :)
JC Favorites JC I chose projects that had a storyline and utilized some original character drawings. It was interesting to sift through all of the diverse projects posted.
Musical concepts MN Projects that are related to intuitive ways of teaching musical concepts
Amusement Parks! RC Projects that remind me of amusement parks
My STS Favorites DL I especially enjoyed projects where students created new ways of learning old things
Building/buildings SK Projects about cities, buildings, and building
SL Top 10 SL  
Interesting projects ZH  

4. Scratch Sensor Boards

For this week’s activity, you are asked to create a personally-meaningful tangible interface with a Scratch Sensor Board.

For help setting up and experimenting with the board, check out the Pico Board site, which includes a Getting Started Guide. As part of the setup process, you’ll need to install a driver.

To document your Scratch Board project, we’d like you to create an additional Scratch project that includes photos of your Scratch Board project—and your process of creating it.

Please upload both of your Scratch projects (the Scratch Board project and the documentation project) to the Scratch Web site. Please include links to both of the projects as a comment.

If you’d like to see examples from last year’s class, check out their Scratch Sensor Board resource page.

In class, we’ll be sharing our experiences with the activity. How did these experiences (and your experiences with the WeDo) shape your understandings of the connection between the physical and the virtual?

Examples of Student Work

Sink the Ship Scratch ZH, EL
PicoBoard Drumset Scratch, Video 1, Video 2 JC, JP
Crazy Dancing with Scratch Cat Scratch, Video
Robot Dance Party Scratch VC, DR
Virtual Tree Scratch AB, RC
The Bike Game Scratch SK, DL
Smart Personal Agent Scratch KA, FG
TuneWars Photos (unavailable) DG, MN

5. Collaboration and the Scratch Web site

For this week’s activity, you are asked to find three examples of how the Scratch Web site is designed to support collaboration.

In class, we’ll be discussing our experiences with this activity. For each example, we will discuss: (1) how it fosters and encourages collaborations, (2) what are the limitations, (3) how it could be extended or enhanced. What new features could further enhance collaboration on the Scratch Web site?

Discussion Notes

Notes by Karen Brennan

  • Sign up as a team (like a Facebook group)
  • Craigslist-like solicitation forum (I’m looking for animator to do…)
  • Share units other than projects (a.k.a the “function logger”, sharing code excerpts or sprites)
  • Explicitly leverage adult or experienced Scratcher contributions (like through mentoring)
  • Get Scratch out of Scratch (like having Scratch projects appear elsewhere)
  • Real-time collaborative workspace with chat and history (text, video, audio)
  • Tip of the week
  • Who’s currently online for real-time advice
  • Chat
  • Aardvark-like service where people sign up as knowing certain things (
  • Restrict access to galleries (private to only a certain group of people while work is in progress), with recorded transcripts
  • Code repositories to check work in and out (like svn)
  • Color-coded comments to track who contributed what
  • Different forms of attribution and credit (like being able to list more than one author)

Notes by student DG

1. How does it foster and encourage collaboration?

  • The ability to upload a project, other can download it and modify and then upload it to their gallery.
  • This encourages collaboration by allowing others to learn, modify and build upon the work of others
  • It lacks version management, the ability to diff, and the ability to merge.
  • It could be improved by mimicking the features of an application like github which is designed to manage this problem.

2. What are the limitations?

  • The messaging system allows you to track comments on your projects
  • It allows you to see what others are saying
  • It lacks the ability say X new messages
  • Once the user views the message set a flag to viewed and only show when you have new messages

3. How could it be extended or enhanced?

  • Forums
  • Allows people to help each other, plan, ask questions, etc…
  • A little hard perhaps to discuss projects; they’re not easily available, you need to download the program
  • Provide a live chat? Make it easier to discuss projects (show projects on the side of the forum,allow one to view code and share it)

6. Help Someone Learn Scratch

For this week’s activity, you are asked to help someone learn Scratch.

Please add a comment to this post and describe the person you helped (age, gender, previous experience with computers, other dimensions).

In class, we’ll be sharing our experiences. How did you approach the task? What were the challenges? How did it compare with your own experiences learning Scratch?

Examples of Student Work

Compiled class blog postings

7. Paper Computing

This week’s activity asks you to create an interactive painting using Leah Buechley’s Paper Computing kit.

Please take pictures to document your painting.

Examples of Student Work

Project by DG, JC, and RC

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Projects with Examples
Activity Assignments with Examples