Generate opportunities for children and young people to create and communicate through computer programs is one of the major goals of educators who gathered in early August for the Scratch Conference 2016, an annual event to exchange experiences in the use of Scratch. Created in 2003 by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), Scratch is a programming language with an educational purpose and is used in initiatives on this subject in the Ayrton Senna Institute, which was presented at a conference session.
Worldwide, more than 15 million projects using Scratch have been shared by young people in the online community, about 20,000 new entries every day, according to the official conference website. Among the projects, there are quite varied initiatives such as virtual tours, scientific simulations, interactive tutorials, among others.
Scratch Conference brought together about 300 people, including educators, researchers and developers working to help young people to create and learn with the tool. Therefore, in addition to listening to lectures of prominent names, as the creator of Scratch and MIT researcher, Mitchel Resnick, participants also conduct workshops and interact in sharing actions and collaborative construction projects.
“Attend meetings as this is an important opportunity to connect with professionals from around the world who are also working with the programming teaching theme in different contexts, and to meet the challenges faced by educators of different realities,” said Adelmo Eloy , literacy project coordinator in programming at the Instituto Ayrton Senna. He attended the conference, held in Cambridge (USA), the first week of August, and gave a presentation on the functioning of the project (learn more below).
According to him, the conference registered significant number of Brazilians, which indicates that the programming theme is gaining more space in the country. The Brazil inclusive, is quoted by the mathematician Seymour Papert, a pioneer of artificial intelligence, creator of LOGO computer language in 1967, and professor of Resnik. world reference for programming researchers, Papert died a few days before the conference and was honored throughout the event.
Among the presentations, there were discussions about the best strategies to support creative learning, new ways for students of all socioeconomic levels have the opportunity to learn in a digital society, and also about the roles that teachers play to generate affordable computing learning experiences to all.
Initiative in Brazil
In the edition of 2015 Scratch Conference, held in the Netherlands, the Ayrton Senna Institute team had already been one of the guests to provide further information on the initiative that develops in Brazil focused on this teaching, which is related to the more focused comprehensive education to prepare young people for all that life in the 21st century will demand them.
The Institute for Literacy project in Programming includes teacher training, support for research with partner universities and curriculum development with varied and activities suitable for the age group of students from 6th to 9th grade of elementary school. Scratch is one of the languages used in class for students to create their own projects, involving animated stories, games, among others.
The activities take place in opposition classes that have participation by students’ interest and not related to approval or disapproval of the students, since the main goal of the program is that, from basic computer programming logic, they have opportunity to develop creativity skills, logical reasoning and problem solving.
source/photo: Ayrton Senna Institute