One of the major factors that determines the engagement of technology in the classroom is personalisation (Domingo & Gargante, 2016), in which the educational technology allows for student freedom and creativity. Scratch, designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is an animation creation program that allows students and teachers to create their own interactive stories, games and animations (MIT, 2007). Scratch allows for students to develop twenty-first century technological skills, including creative thinking, reasoning, problem solving and working collaboratively (Kim, Park, Yoo & Kim, 2016; Aliusta & Ozer, 2017).
Through Scratch, educators are able to foster creativity, as it provides adequate freedom and problem solving, through which each student creates their own individualised final product (Domingo & Gargante, 2016). An example of Scratch being used in a classroom is by allowing students to create their own endings to popular stories. Students are able to plan and draft their story ending and to finally animate it. Scratch allows users to share their projects, which could make for effective peer feedback (Demir, 2018; Lui & Li, 2014). Peer assessment is found to encourage students to reevaluate their own work, thus engaging students in critical thinking (Yu & Wu, 2011).
Moreover, through publishing students’ works, peers are able to interact on a technological level, which may ensure more amicable relationships within the classroom (Domingo & Gargante, 2016). The publishing aspect also allows students to ‘remix’ others works to create their own adaptation of the work, which could be useful in engaging students in collaborative work. Another benefit to Scratch is that it can be used on any device, which allows for more access for more students (Kim, Park, Yoo & Kim, 2016)
While Scratch has many benefits in the classroom it does require support and guidance for beginners. Scratch, fortunately does provide many tutorials across various contexts. Students can also be encouraged to explore the program during free time to develop their own skills through student centred learning (Aliusta & Ozer, 2017). MIT also made it easier for students to use, by presenting the commands and sounds in simple english (Gough 2012).
Ultimately, Scratch allows for students to feel a sense of pride in their own unique works, while developing critical 21st century skills.
Demir, M. (2018). Using online peer assessment in an Instructional Technology and Material Design course through social media. Higher Education, 75(3), 399-414.
Domingo, & Garganté. (2016). Exploring the use of educational technology in primary education: Teachers’ perception of mobile technology learning impacts and applications’ use in the classroom. Computers in Human Behavior, 56, 21-28.
Gough, John. (2012). Hooray for Scratch (MIT) software – good old logo still going strong! Prime Number, 27(4), 17-19.
Kim, Hye Jeong, Park, Ji Hyeon, Yoo, Sungae, & Kim, Hyeoncheol. (2016). Fostering Creativity in Tablet-Based Interactive Classrooms. Educational Technology & Society, 19(3), 207-220.
Liu, Xiongyi, & Li, Lan. (2014). Assessment Training Effects on Student Assessment Skills and Task Performance in a Technology-Facilitated Peer Assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(3), 275-292.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). (2007). Scratch. Retrieved from https://scratch.mit.edu
Onurkan Aliusta, Gülen, & Özer, Bekir. (2017). Student-Centred Learning (SCL): Roles Changed? Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 23(4), 422-435.
Yu, Fu-Yun, & Wu, Chun-Ping. (2011). Different Identity Revelation Modes in an Online Peer-Assessment Learning Environment: Effects on Perceptions toward Assessors, Classroom Climate and Learning Activities. Computers & Education, 57(3), 2167-2177.