Phase #2.0 – Weeks 4 – 5

Reflection 2

I have now become familiar with Scratch and its interface. I have  developed an understanding of Scratch to be able to engage and complete programming activities. In my first activity I created a “racing car game”. I learnt new functions such as adding a timer, sensor, click and release and embedded code together e.g. “clicked, forever, if, sensing and sound”.  I further learnt how to create a sprite, edit a background from the stage section and set an object through the co-ordinates of the location on the sprite. For my second activity I created a “ping pong” game. I further developed and implemented skills such as adding multiple sprites, embedding motion and sensing code to control the sprite via the mouse, setting co-ordinates to a sprite, creating variables e.g. score and speed, embedding forever loops to allow the ball to bounce around the stage and “touch code” to allow the ball and paddle to function.

For my extension project in Scratch I created dog and crab game through tutorials from redware.com (2013). I further demonstrated a range of skills learnt throughout the semester on Scratch. The game consisted of two sprites broadcasting messages to interact with each other around the stage. I imported 2 sprites each sprites was created into a character. I selected a dog and crab from the character file.  Within each sprite I created a green flag control event to set up the positions at the beginning of the game. It allowed the crab to be placed randomly on the stage at the beginning of the game. The dog sprite was set in the middle of the stage,and added forever loop on the main control sprite to control movement via the mouse. I embedded a sensing component into the forever loop for the dog to allow a reaction from the dog. Consequently, when the dog touched the crab it would make a barking sound to the crab. When the dog would touch the crab I added a receive event to the crab to allow it to run away when the dog touches it. Theses controls allowed messaging between sprites. Finally I added a background imagine to the stage, I selected a picture of USQ as I thought it would be amusing to see a crab and a dog run all over a picture of USQ.

I think implementing a project like this into a classroom would effectively engage students as it would allow them to manipulate various functions of scratch e.g. students would be able to use different characters, picture, control functions, sounds and messages. The teacher in this instance would be able to allow students to select and manipulate a range of materials, components, tools and equipment creatively, competently and safely in the development of designed solutions suitable for a range of technologies contexts (ACARA, 2013).

These activities further link with components from the Technology curriculum draft including: 2.5 Follow, describe, represent and play with a sequence of steps and decisions needed to solve simple problems, 2.4 Identify, explore, and use digital systems (hardware and software components) for personal and classroom needs, 4.2 Investigate how well information systems meet home, classroom and community needs and envisage new applications for existing information systems, 4.5 Define simple problems, and follow and describe the algorithms (sequence of steps and decisions) needed to solve them, 4.6 Design and implement simple visual programs with user input and branching, 6.6 Follow, modify and describe simple algorithms involving sequence of steps, decisions, and repetitions that are represented diagrammatically and in plain English and 6.7 Design and implement digital solutions using visual programs with user input, branching and iteration. Ultimately integrating this activity in the classroom would allow 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).

The following URL will provide a video of my learning throughout this phase:

References

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

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