As many articles on the Internet state the educational benefit of game programming extends beyond providing an easy and interesting introduction to programming. Students learn through discovery about ICT, media and communication. This learning occurs as the student reflects on their experiences and constructs a personal understanding. It requires logical thinking, critical reasoning, problem identification and solving skills and persistence.
“Learning how to program in Scratch puts the learning completely in the hands of the students. There are infinite paths a student could take with the program. There’s no way that we, as teachers, can prepare for the direction that the student will head towards” (Sprankle, 2013). This is true example “Problem Based Learning” and “Just in Time” Teaching in action, allowing the students to become creators rather than just consumers. There are many examples where teachers have been using Scratch to empower student writing in areas such as poetry and narratives (Fay, 2010).
As an ICT Integrator but more importantly in this instance a practicing Infants Teacher, I advocate the importance to get students interested in learning about STEM topics before Years 4 & 5. I believe this because around this time children begin to form opinions about what is “cool” or “not cool.” I want my students to be engaged and develop a love of learning and this is why in my classroom I use things such as Scratch to help kids to have fun with maths. It causes them to search for the creative answer. Creativity is such a precious skill that we need to promote to our students. With tools like Scratch, students are getting a fun introduction to design thinking.
Fay, L. (2010) http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/715
Sprankle, B. (2013) http://bobsprankle.com/bitbybit_wordpress/?p=3982