So I wasn’t there to see it, but Tess and Tucker learned Scratch this afternoon from Andrew, an 11-year old from “across the pond” from Perth, Scotland, during their weekly Tuesday “supplementing school” class. I had to be on an airplane to somewhere, but the early reports are that Andrew did a stupendous job, using Yugma and Skype to show my kids how to start to program their own characters and get all sorts of sprites doing all sorts of things. Neil, Andrew’s dad, (pictured here during the session) really gets to my own feelings about this (please read his post):
The implications of being able to find what you want to know from someone who is willing to shareâ€¦ even if they are not presentâ€¦ turns our traditional model of education on its headâ€¦ and even more so when you realise that the person with the knowledge you require might be the person you thought you ought to be teaching!
I just find it hard to express how cool I think this is. And what a different world this is from when I was 8 or 9, and how envious I am of my kids, and how much I want schools and teachers to understand this very, very different playing field we’re on right now. I just absolutely love what my kids are learning, not just about Scratch, but about a world where they can connect with other kids, other teachers to learn, a world where walls are irrelevant, one filled with opprotunity and creativity and… I know, I know…I’m in a giddy place again. But I want other parents to feel this, to feel how absolutely incredible and different and wonderful this is.
Thanks Andrew. Thanks Neil. It’s an amazing time.
a. woody delauder says
I am working with my students in Scratch. What amazes me is the fact that I prepared, played with it for hours, created sprites, but still when it came time to show the students, they went so far beyond my intellectual capabilities with the program. After ten minutes, they were teaching me.
See my post http://edumorphing.blogspot.com/2007/10/scratch-me-some.html
The fact that your kids could learn this from across the world from another student is amazing.
Thanks for the post!
Neil Winton says
Thanks to your kids, Will! Andrew’s walking with just a little hint of a bigger spring in his step today.
One thought that struck me was how Andrew will respond to the usual, “What did you do last night?” question… It’s not too often you get the chance to say you were teaching people on another continent how to use a bit of software for fun… more’s the pity!
Tom Hoffman says
This is cool, to be sure, but is it cooler than kids just teaching things to each other in the neighborhood without parent mediation?
Will Richardson says
@Tom: Well, it’s cooler for me. ;0) And the neighborhood is a bit bigger. I’m thinking I’m helping my kids be able to do this on their own without parent mediation at some point…
I’m wondering exactly what Scratch is? It looks like it would be pretty cool to use.
This is Connie with Yugma. Every day, we work towards making the best collaboration tool possible. It is truly exciting to hear that kids are using it, educating each other throughout the globe. This makes me smile!
On behalf of Yugma, Thanks for including us in your educational experience!
It really does boggle the mind to think how different the whole process of learning is these days. My own children are mid 20’s, and what is happening now is very different from their learning environment. If we can just keep the sense of curiosity and the desire to learn alive, we will have accomplished so much.
Andy Morabito says
Yeah, Will, I’m only twenty-five, but I’m also incredibly jealous when I think about the amazing possibilities for education on a global level that the students of today and tomorrow will hopefully all have in their hands.
Also, thanks for Skyping with our (Karen Stearns’) 506 class @ SUNY Cortland tonight. It was a real pleasure to talk with you. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule.
Oh, and check out my blog: http://digeratiboombati.wordpress.com/
With the way technology is building up we can just about do anything now. No matter what age you are. I have seen kids 10 and up use scratch. I think it is a really good program.
Amy Reynolds says
Wow. I have been reading about Scratch for a while now. This is true 21st century learning. It’s amazing how fast kids learn to use these interactive tools and how engaged they are when using them in school. Kudos to your kids for making global connections while learning.