That Scratch Is Spreading!
I’ve just had the pleasure of watching a master at work. Not bad when you realise the master in question is only ten, and his pupils are sitting on a different continent!
My oldest boy, Andrew, leads a double life. By day he is a frighteningly good scrum-half, but by night he is a prodigious Scratcher called Munkeeb. Because of this, I read Will Richardson’s recent post about supplementing his children’s education with great interest. In fact, after a quick chat with Andrew, I offered Andrew’s services to show Will’s kids how to use Scratch. The past couple of weeks have involved a handful of emails back and forwards as we made arrangements, and also a crash course in using Yugma until tonight it all came together.
I know I’m biased, but Andrew did really, really well. I was sitting beside him to help with the technical side of conferencing, but he took care of all the explanations of how to use Scratch. He started by walking through the various parts of the Scratch workspace before talking his class through basic motion, animation and changing the backgrounds. An incredibly short hour later and he had Will’s kids looking at their own animated bats chasing the mouse through a spooky forest… Not bad for someone who has only ever been on the receiving end of education before this!
If ever you wanted proof that we can find learning everywhere and from everyone, tonight was it. The earth was flattening before my eyes as Andrew talked a group of kids in America through an introduction to programming. I need to think more fully about the implications of what I was watching, and I think I need someone like Will himself to give these thoughts some shape and direction. The implications of being able to find what you want to know from someone who is willing to share… even if they are not present… turns our traditional model of education on its head… and even more so when you realise that the person with the knowledge you require might be the person you thought you ought to be teaching!