A Scratch Project Thank You!

Star Wars Day Scratch Screenshot

After creating our “Star Wars Day” Scratch project and publishing it at the end of March, I hadn’t revisited it until the day that it was to be used for our “Star Wars Technology” display.  When I logged into my Scratch account I was totally amazed to discovered that the project had been viewed more than 13,000 times and had more than 400 comments!  It was also exciting to see that the project had been remixed more than 30 times meaning that other Scratch users have used this project as a basis for something new.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to view, play, like, favourite, comment and remix this project!

Star Wars Day – Tablet & Keyboard Version
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/19137314/

Star Wars Day – MaKey MaKey Version
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/19662631/

 

Star Wars Day Scratch Project

I’ve had so much fun creating a special Scratch project that will form part of an interactive poster for an upcoming school display.  The Scratch project, “Star Wars Day” has two versions – one for a tablet and/or keyboard device, the other for use with a MaKey MaKey invention kit.

Inspiration for the project came while I was listening to some music from Star Wars as my 13 year old daughter played the violin.  As I listened to “The Imperial March” by composer, John Williams, some of the notes played by my daughter just happened to correspond with the famous Darth Vader theme.  This gave me an idea to create a type of Scratch tutorial that would give people the opportunity to learn how to play part of the them.

Soon after came the MaKey MaKey version, that allowed us to connect real world objects such as a small Darth Vader toy wrapped in wire that could be touched to hear an excerpt from The Imperial March, as well as an egg carton covered in foil that could be used as a keyboard.

But it didn’t stop there!  Students are still being asked to “Make a poster…” on a regular basis.  I thought this might be a good opportunity to show what was possible when you explore the concept of an interactive poster.  The MaKey Makey invention kit, connected to an old laptop running the Scratch project, Talking Point recording devices, QR Codes and lots of different items and surfaces provided an interactive and tactile experience for the display.

I’ll provide further information about the interactive poster in a future post but, for now, I’ll leave you with a look at the Scratch project, “Star Wars Day”.


Star Wars Day – Tablet & Keyboard Version
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/19137314/

Star Wars Day – MaKey MaKey Version
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/19662631/

Making a Record Player with LEGO WeDo & Scratch

The book, Invent to Learn, is not only changing the way I look at teaching and learning but is also helping me to rediscover the “maker” in me.  As a child, I loved LEGO and still have some of my original red and white bricks that I played with as a child, more than 30 years ago.

There are many exciting resources mentioned in Invent to Learn, including Make Magazine.  After reading about Make, I immediately arranged a subscription, ordered some back issues and started exploring the projects on their fabulous website.
I came across the “LEGO Phonograph” posted by Josh Burker.  Josh’s excellent step-by-step instructions made it the perfect first LEGO WeDo project for me to tackle!

One of the most enjoyable parts of this project was finding some old vinyl records to use.  I still have some treasured “singles” and “albums” but was a little scared to use these for fear of damage.  One of my local Salvos Stores had a huge range of inexpensive vinyl records that were prefect for the project!

You can view the results of the project below or click here to view the movie on the BGS eLearning YouTube Channel.

Project 3: Debug-It!

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Today, as I listened to the second Office Hours session, I continued to explore work by other Scratchers as part of the Creative Computing Online Workshop and attempted my first “Debug-It” project…

debugit_original

I have reflected on the work I have done for this “Debug-It” project according to the “triplet” for reviewing work:

  • I like debugging!  I was actually quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this Debug-It activity!  I found that, after viewing the instructions and the original blocks, I had a picture in my mind of what I needed to do.  However, the rearrangement of the blocks didn’t work at all.  I was totally wrong!  I really enjoyed tinkering with different block configurations until I came up with my final result.  I had a real sense of satisfaction knowing that I had solved the issues.  I was particularly happy with the way the “Meow” speech bubbles worked with the “.5” timings.
  • I wish I could complete more Debug-It activities in the future.
  • What if I gave some Debug-It activities to our students?  Completing these types of activities can help you to learn a great deal about your students.  How do they cope with trouble shooting activities?  What is their reaction when they hit a “dead end”?  Do they like to work with others to find a solution or do they prefer to work alone?

Please click here to view my remixed “Debug-It” project.

 

Project 2: About Me

banner_design_notebook

I was fortunate enough to enjoy a long weekend due to the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday today.  The weekend has given me a little extra time to devote to creating an “About Me” project.

From this project, I was able to explore some Scratch features that I had not used before including:

  • Uploading recorded sounds
  • Using the Sound Editor tools to edit uploaded recordings
  • Exploring a variety of websites to find appropriate images/icons to use as sprites

ccow_triplet

I’ve reflected on the work I’ve done for this “About Me” project according to the “triplet” for reviewing work:

  • I like the way a user can click a sprite to make something happen. 
  • I wish I had more time to devote to this project as I would have loved to have added some narration and even a little more text with further explanations about the items I chose.
  • What if I added more features to the sprites?  For example, make the girl dance when the music plays, make the TARDIS spin when its sound plays.  What if we made this project part of our activities for the new school year?  Scratch is not only an excellent way for students to create an “About Me” presentation but the Scratch Community would also be a wonderful way for students to share and comment on each other’s work.

You can click here to view my “About Me” project.

about_me_screenshot