Most of us have our hearts in the right place, but we all procrastinate when shopping for gifts, whether it’s Christmas or your best friend’s wedding, and especially when studying for a test. At the last minute, you scramble for the perfect, personalized solution, but that’s not possible. Just kidding, it totally is.
Scratch is a software developed by the MIT Media Lab that allows you to create your own stories, animations, pools, study guides and much more. These can then be shared with as many people as you like.
Why it was developed:
We’re at a funny stage, technologically. We know so many things but we don’t know how they work or often what makes them important. Kids are great with technology, but even the tech-savvy kids who are good with social media and keep up with gadgetry aren’t up on the details of the programs they interact with on a daily basis.
You don’t need years and years of training and a huge amount of technological know-how in order to write code. With Scratch, anyone can do it. You can create your own personalized games, polls, cards, and a host of other things, no longer just a user at the mercy of someone else’s code, but a creator.
Learning to code is fun, but that’s not all it’s good for:
It helps you think multi-dimensionally
When you’re playing a video game, you’re seldom aware of the time and effort that went into creating it. People work on those things for months and years. If you go behind the scenes, you’ll know exactly what it takes to make the end result you’re enjoying. By learning to code, you’ll understand how different elements interact within the game and the individual steps that led to the completed product. Scratch is a great way to get your feet wet without having to worry about the code itself.
It’ll help you think logically
You may have heard it said that a computer is only as smart as the program it’s running. That’s because a human person wrote the software, line by line. Programs and games, all kinds of software, go through a series of instructions, jumping from one point to another whenever certain conditions are met. Using Scratch lets you see what goes on in the background and allows you to process tasks in a systematic and sequential fashion, thinking in terms of the steps from A to B. It’ll help you learn how to break down complex procedures into simpler processes.
Once in control, you can explore the endless creative opportunities Scratch offers. One kid created a game where a big fish ate a little fish. But this was not enough. He wanted to keep score, and didn’t rest until he figured it out—wait for it—using Scratch. We tend to forget that the possibilities of writing code and programming are virtually endless. You can make customized programs to make your everyday tasks much much easier, and no one knows better than you how best to help yourself.
See things in a new way
Programming is becoming more and more important, and is a valuable skill that people look for not only in computer specialists but everyone. Since we all use social media and play video games, we have every reason to learn how it works. Technology isn’t going anywhere, and is only going to become more important, so we’d all best get educated and get the most out of it. Software like Scratch lets you keep tabs on the technological world and lets you get creative with your day-to-day activities, so have a go—you won’t regret it.
The world wide web is teeming with websites and people that are happy to help you learn. Check out CodeAcademy, CoderDojo, GirlsWhoCode, and many more to get a taste of what coding is like. (Hint: it’s awesome.)
Remember, whenever you learn how to read and write a language, it opens up a whole new world of learning and expression. Definitely take a look at the TEDtalk that got us excited.
And, if you’re feeling lost in the sea of information that is the internet, you could always just hire a tutor. We know some great guys.
Scratch – scratch.mit.edu