ScratchJr is now available for iPad (Android and Web coming)

August 13, 2014 at 8:58 am 5 comments

Pretty exciting new direction for Scratch!  I’m really curious about the research that’s going to come out using ScratchJr. What can students learn to do with ScratchJr, and what’s the distribution (e.g., all kids learn X, but only 10% reach Y)? What do students transfer forward from learning ScratchJr?

ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children ages 5-7 to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves — then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life.ScratchJr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language http://scratch.mit.edu, used by millions of young people ages 8 and up around the world. In creating ScratchJr, we redesigned the interface and programming language to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match young children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.ScratchJr is now available as a free iPad app. We expect to release an Android version later in 2014 and a web-based version in 2015.

via ScratchJr – About.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark Miller  |  August 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Does this have any relationship to Tickle? From what I’ve read, Tickle is a derivative subset of Scratch implemented in Obj-C.

    Reply
    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  August 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      I’ve seen ScratchJr, and it doesn’t look anything like Tickle, based on the images at Kickstarter. (I’m guessing Tickle doesn’t actually exist yet, since they Kickstarter campaign is still on-going?)

      Reply
      • 3. Mark Miller  |  August 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        According to their description, they’ve implemented a basic Scratch engine and visual editor (you can see they talk about this beneath the heading “Risks and Challenges” near the bottom). I noted from the description they seem to emphasize “rapid prototyping,” which gives me some pause. It could be something kids outgrow rather quickly, which is something that concerns me about the mobile-based educational programming environments I’ve been seeing lately.

        In the video, they talk a bit about the original Scratch, and they say, “It only runs on PCs.” I guess that should’ve been a clue that Tickle and ScratchJr. are not related projects.

        A question I posed to them yesterday (no response yet) is whether it allows the sharing of Tickle code across devices. As I’m sure you know, this has been a sticking point with past efforts to bring such an environment to the iPad and iPhone.

        I agree the demo of ScratchJr looks different from this implementation, and just from looking at both, it looks like they’re taking different approaches to the issue.

        Reply
      • 4. Mark Miller  |  August 28, 2014 at 12:04 am

        I got the following response from the Tickle team today to my question re. whether kids would be able to share code proximately on their platform:

        “Great suggestion. We are envisioning a Github-like community where it’s easy to share (and fork) projects.

        One of the key reasons that we’re going mobile-first is to be able to support the scenario that you mentioned: proximity-based and location-based interaction. Maybe we should make that a stretch goal :-)”

        Reply
  • 5. Mark Miller  |  August 28, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Now there’s another Scratch version for iPad. Pyonkee. It’s a fork of McIntosh’s Scratch Viewer, but it contains an editor as well, with features similar to Scratch 1.4.

    “- User interfaces are optimized for iPad

    – Native font support

    – Embedded camera support

    – IME support

    – Auto-saving project

    – Sending projects via e-mail

    – Project import/export through iTunes (currently disabled)”

    Reply

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