This week in our after-school computer club, students from years 3 and 4 have been using the Scratch Junior application on the iPads which offers a great introduction into the world of programming. With the use of the excellent resources available on the developer website http://www.scratchjr.org/teach/activities the students can create simple games that they can interact with and design other elements like the backgrounds and additional characters or sprites, as they’re better known!

The interface is extremely intuitive and the students are able to navigate the controls with ease. This software package is limited, and doesn’t offer the same level of control as the full-blown version of scratch but without those additional features, the app is less cluttered and therefore, easier to use.

I would highly recommend this app to school and teachers in EYFS/KS1 who are looking to introduce their students to the world of computer programming.

I would also recommend the resources on the STEM website below along with the interface guide which you can access here.

https://www.stem.org.uk/resources/elibrary/resource/359084/scratch-junior

 

Description:

With ScratchJr, young children (ages 5-7) learn important new skills as they program their own interactive stories and games. By snapping together graphical programming blocks, children can make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. In the process, children learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer. They also use math and language in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of early-childhood numeracy and literacy. With ScratchJr, children don’t just learn to code, they code to learn. ScratchJr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu), used by millions of people (ages 8 and up) around the world. The ScratchJr interface and programming language were redesigned to make them appropriate for younger children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development. ScratchJr is a collaboration between the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab, the Developmental Technologies research group at Tufts University, and the Playful Invention Company. The ScratchJr project has received generous financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF DRL-1118664), Scratch Foundation, LEGO Foundation, and British Telecommunications. If you enjoy using this free app, please consider making a donation to the Scratch Foundation (www.scratchfoundation.org), a nonprofit organization that provides ongoing support for ScratchJr. We appreciate donations of all sizes, large and small.…
 
App Store
 

App Details:

  • Created by Scratch Foundation
  • Sold by Code-to-Learn Foundation
  • Released on July 29, 2014
  • Price: Free!
  • Category Education
 

iPad Screenshots:

  • Screenshot