Evaluation matrix 1: Scratch Jr

Name of teaching resource
ScratchJr
Weblink
https://youtu.be/OtGPI5hgsxohttp://www.scratchjr.org/
Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)
The ScratchJr app is designed specifically for the cognitive, social and personal capabilities of 5-7-year-olds (MIT Media Lab, 2014).
How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)
ScratchJr would be most effective when used individually or in pairs so that all class members could engage with the software.
Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?
ScratchJr is appropriate for teaching all Foundation to Year 2 subjects: English, science, mathematics, history, geography, the arts, digital and design technologies, languages, and health and physical education (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014). ScratchJr develops students’ literacy, storytelling, planning, sequencing, digital technology, problem-solving and programming skills, building on the general capabilities outlined in the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014).
Identify the strengths of this teaching resource
ScratchJr enables children with little or no reading ability to become digital content creators and technology innovators, and aids their digital fluency development as they learn about coding (Howell, 2012, p. 169). ScratchJr develops students’ literacy, storytelling, planning, sequencing, digital technology, problem-solving and programming skills, building on the general capabilities outlined in the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014).
Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource
The most evident weakness of ScratchJr is the inability to export the final project for sharing; however, this also eliminates potential digital security issues. Additionally, without a designated save button, it is possible to lose work. Students would require access to iPads or Android tablets to use ScratchJr.
Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource
Students could use ScratchJr to create “transmedia” play experiences (Kinder, as cited in Alper & Herr-Stephenson, 2013, pp. 366-367): stories read in class could be extended with an animation, or characters could be further developed.Year five students could use peer-supported learning to teach year one students how to use ScratchJr. The younger students could write scripts, with the older students assisting with the production of the animation.

(220 words)

References

ACARA. (2014). F-10 Curriculum: General capabilities in the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum

Alper, M., & Herr-Stephenson, R. (2013). Transmedia play: Literacy across media. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 5(2), 366-369. Retrieved from https://lms.curtin.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-3339728-dt-content-rid-19586467_1/courses/EDUC1015-DVCEducatio-1132960346/EDUC1015-DVCEducatio-1132960346_ImportedContent_20150209105434/Transmedia%20Play_%20Literacy%20Across%20Media.pdf

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2014). Australian curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Curriculum/Overview

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

MIT Media Lab. (2014, March 18). ScratchJr [Video file]. Retrieved from https://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXbOMQ-0WWU

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