The high school students at SAS tried out our Scratch Bouncing Ball project today. It’s interesting to see the difference between Middle School and High School level with the students.
The High School students have very little trouble creating accounts and getting logged into the systems, most have their own email addresses, and can get through these tasks pretty quickly (this school uses google drive so they all had google accounts). We were up and running with them signed into Ucodemy and Scratch in only a few minutes.
I’ve come to say that starting a coding club is like setting up a conference room for a video call. Pretty much anything that can go wrong will and often takes several minutes to resolve. This makes it pretty challenging to expect that on a first time that the computers will just function and all will work as expected and this time was no exception to my rule.
We were using chromebooks and scratch seemed to be working; most of it was loading for most of the students; however, we found that several of them seemed to only load part of the site. After refreshing, some would work. The teacher ran off to get some different laptops only for us to finally realize it was the school filter interfering with scratch. As soon as we disabled it everything worked great!
Only one of the kids had used scratch before but it was just a brief intro. We went through the course and had some great feedback from the students on what they had learnt; the following quote was common:
“I realized how some things in games do what they do”
Along with an interest for more:
“I would like to fully complete a project. I tend to dive into the scripts and get lost in it all. Maybe next time I’ll create a multiplayer scratch game.”
We had a few glitches in the game development that a few students ran into, but just like regular development, it was just another opportunity to teach some debugging.