Scratch is a free visual coding tool that was designed by the MIT Lifelong Kindergarten Group. Students can use Scratch to “code their own interactive stories, animations, and games. In the process, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for everyone in today’s society” (Scratch for Educators, 2020, para. 1).
On its website, Scratch provides extensive resources, such as step-by-step interactive video tutorials, to guide beginners to get started, allowing users to self-pace their learning. The website also has subpages designated for parents and educators. In addition, there is a forum for new scratchers as well as a featured studio to showcase products designed by users.
Scratch Overview Video
***View the Scratch Video Transcript***
Scratch & the SAMR Model
Scratch can be used in many different ways. For example, in a math class, you can ask your students to use Scratch to learn about and show their understanding of a coordinate graph.
- Substitution: Students use Scratch to draw a coordinate graph (rather than drawing a graph on paper).
- Augmentation: Students can use Scratch to create an introductory video to introduce coordinate planes.
- Modification: Students use Scratch to design an interactive coordinate graph game to play. They can share their projects with each other and critique each other’s designs.
- Redefinition: Students use Scratch to create a step-by-step tutorial animation on how to draw a coordinate graph. Users need to interact with the animation, following prompts embedded in it. When they finish all the steps, they produce a coordinate graph.
ScratchEd, a member of the Scratch family has many inspiring examples organized by grades, content types, curricular area, and language.
How to Use Scratch
For General Users:
- To use the online version, go to https://scratch.mit.edu.
To use without registering:
- Select the "Start Creating” button.
- To use with registering, click “Join Scratch” in the upper right corner.
- Fill out the information as shown in the animated GIF below.
- Watch a Getting Started tutorial by Scratch; you can also find many other video tutorials for Scratch on this page
For Educators who wish to set up their online Scratch classes:
Step 1: Fill out a “Teacher request form” at the address below, and follow the steps as shown in the GIF: https://scratch.mit.edu/educators/register
Note that it might take 24 hours to confirm your account.
Step 2: Watch a tutorial video made by Scratch to learn how to set up classrooms step by step.
Also, you can find a written explanation on the teacher account on ScratchWiki, which is a subpage on Scratch website.
Dohn, N. B. (2020). Students’ interest in Scratch coding in lower secondary mathematics. British Journal of Educational Technology, 51(1), 71-83.
Fagerlund, J., Häkkinen, P., Vesisenaho, M., & Viiri, J. (2021). Computational thinking in programming with Scratch in primary schools: A systematic review. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 29(1), 12-28.
Zhang, L., & Nouri, J. (2019). A systematic review of learning computational thinking through Scratch in K-9. Computers & Education, 141, 103607.
This page was created by Lian Duan.