A Little More Scratch

Towards the end of the 20 minute video I made for K12 Online, Teaching Kids To Think Using Scratch, I very briefly mentioned two other things that I would have liked to say more about but simply didn’t have enough time in the time allowed.

The first thing was the use of Scratch on the iPad and the iPhone.  I mentioned that there was a Scratch iOS app, but didn’t have time to elaborate.  Since then, a few people contacted me about this app and wanted to know more, telling me that the couldn’t find it in the Apple App Store.  The reason you can’t find it is unfortunately quite simple… it’s been removed from the App Store and is no longer available so unless you got a copy of it prior to it being removed, you’re out of luck I’m afraid.

So if you missed out, sorry… but if it’s any consolation, the Scratch app only allowed you to browse the Scratch website and then execute existing Scratch projects.  You couldn’t actually manipulate code or use it as a tool for creating programs, so all those schools implementing iPad programs and getting all excited about the possibility of doing Scratch on the iPads… sorry, it was never a possibility anyway.

But the main thing I wanted to follow up on was the PicoBoards.  I was put onto the PicoBoards by my buddy Martin Levins, and they are proving to be a fabulous extension to what you can do with Scratch. Essentially they are a circuit board  with a bunch of sensors on them that you connect to your computer via USB so that Scratch can directly address the sensors on the board.  With a rheostat (voltage slider), microphone, light sensor, button, and four resistance circuits, the Picoboards open up all sorts of possibilities for creating software based programs that interact directly with the real world.

Anyway, blah, blah, blah… there’s lots more I could say about them, but just watch the video. And then go buy a few.  Your kids will really like them.  Trust me.

CC BY 4.0 A Little More Scratch by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

3 Replies to “A Little More Scratch”

  1. Wow Chris. this is fantastic. i have had students making games for a few years, but they will be greatly enhanced if I had some picoboards – so will try and invest in these as soon as possible. greta PD for me – in 15 minutes in comfort of my home – well a home.


  2. Chris, I’m sure you’ve heard of them, or even have some, but I think the precursor to using Scratch lies in PicoCrickets (http://picocricket.com) and TurtleArt (http://www.turtleart.org). We’ve been using them in a program we (unoriginally) call Playful Inventors. We’ve started as early as 2nd grade playfully exploring many of the concepts you mentioned in your K12Online presentation.

    Love to see more examples of student creations if you get the chance!

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