Sunday, April 5, 2009

Creating from Scratch!

Scratch is a great way to get way to create interactions, animations and games. It is extremely easy to learn. Almost anyone can learn to use this and be up and running in a few minutes. Once you spend a few minutes learning Scratch, you create games like this one which was my first attempt.
GOAL: Get the cat to chase and catch the red ball of wool. Have to get the mouse pointer exactly over the red ball. I forgot to de-link the mouse pointer from the cat so you have to click on the red stop sign to stop the script. Hey you live and you learn right?

Learn more about this project

After you spend more than a few minutes working on Scratch, you can create something like this:
Learn more about this project
Key features
1. Free programming tool with a terrific user interface from http://scratch.mit.edu
2. Requires JAVA
3. Free hosting service on Scratch servers
4. You can download and examine the code for all uploaded projects
5. Code is "written" by stacking blocks on each other!
6. Once uploaded to Scratch servers, you can embed the "game" into your blog or web page like I just did.

So how can you use this?
1. Teach logic
2. Teach the concepts of programming
3. Create educational games - that teach medical concepts e.g. A red blood cell moves through the circulation and you have to click on the appropriate valve in appropriate sequence to get it through from the vena cava to the Right Atrium to Right ventricle to Lungs to Left Atrium to Left Ventricle to Aorta. Or you could allow them to click on a valve to create a state of Stenosis or regurgitation and show what happens.
4. You could embed this into a LMS or Assessment tool or even PowerPoint to help make for more active learning!