On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Laura Beth Fay and Tim Baker join Susan Ettenheim and Chris Sloan to talk about Scratch and its uses in junior high. Susan met Laura and Tim at the 2010 Scratch@MIT conference. Tim’s interests in environmental education align with our ongoing Voices on the Gulf project; like Susan and Chris, Laura works with her local writing project – in Susan’s words “lots of overlapping pieces.”
Laura Fay is an 8th grade reading teacher at Fisher Middle School in Ewing, New Jersey; her students use Scratch to compose multimedia as part of her journalism curriculum. Tim is a graduate student in interaction design at the University of Maine, and he’s helped create an environmental simulator for middle school students aid their understandings of ecosystems called Sim Stream.
Meet Laura, just the way Susan did at the MIT conference: http://kimpearson.net/?p=804 Laura is active with NWP@Rider - NWP@Rider is dedicated to supporting and developing literacy in the Mercer County, New Jersey area. Laura also works with literacy and Scratch and interactive journalism.
Tim Baker came to MIT from Orono, Maine with his project Sim Stream. University of Maine Undergraduate researchers are developing a grades 6-8 virtual, educational system that poses environmental issues for students to explore in their own ecological system, drawing from diverse areas of study. By learning to use scientific observations, analyze data, and draw inferences in formulating decisions and policies, students develop an appreciation and understanding for natural resources, human-non-human inter-dependencies and the need for civic responsibility.
About Scratch: Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art – and share your creations on the web. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.