Visit my curated collection which provides resources and articles to assist Special Education teachers in implementing digital technologies within the classroom environment. It also provides Teachers with ideas for developing 21st century skills and outcomes for special needs students.
At the start of the semester we were introduced to the programming environment of Scratch. The program is a drag and drop coding that allows the user to create interactive animations, games and other multimedia presentations. Throughout the first 3 weeks of being introduced to scratch, I simply had a play with the coding and interface to get familiar with the “bells and whistles” of this program. I created basic shapes through dragging motion code into the script box and entering different types of steps and degrees to the move and turn code. I found using Scratch quite easy, as I was able to use previous knowledge of programming from ITS (Information Technologies Systems) during high school. I further engaged with Scratch through downloading the file and interacting with it on my desktop and laptop. The use of Scratch in primary schools will develop students to be confident as critical users and designers and producers of technologies and designed solutions (ACARA, 2013). The scratch activities further link with components from the Technology curriculum draft these include: 2.5 Follow, describe, represent and play with a sequence of steps and decisions needed to solve simple problems, 4.5 Define simple problems, and follow and describe the algorithms (sequence of steps and decisions) needed to solve them and 4.6 Design and implement simple visual programs with user input and branching.
It gives students insight into the roles and responsibilities of designers, technologists and those in related occupations in the 21st century (ACARA, 2013). Ultimately applying scratch into the classroom assists teachers in developing students to be effective in the 21st century. Allowing students an opportunity to be able to develop and exhibit a range of functional and critical thinking skills related to information, media and technology (Partnership for 21st century skills, 2013).
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2013). Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies – Digital Technologies processes and production skills . Retrieved, March 9, 2013, from http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Static/docs/Technologies/Draft%20Australian%20Curriculum%20Technologies%20-%20February%202013.pdf
Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2013). 21st Century Learning Environments. Retrieved, May 23, 2013, from http://www.p21.org/overview/skills-framework/354