Scratch is a playful programming learning environment created at MIT Media Lab in an effort to engage children in inventing and creating digital content rather than simply consuming or interacting with it. Most kids today are proficient at watching music videos on their computers, playing games on their parents’ mobile phones, or communicating with their friends on social networks. But what about creating an interactive game, story, or music experience?
Scratch is an easy-to-use environment designed to address this need, allowing children and educators to create their own interactive media. Scratch was carefully designed at MIT Media Lab based on constructionism values, promoting playful learning through open-ended exploration, and encouraging children to create content that is meaningful to them. While introducing Scratch and promoting these values in a school system has great promise, it also faces many challenges.The IDC Media Innovation Lab in Herzliya, Israel, has been promoting Scratch as a playful digital learning environments in formal schools, after-school centers, and home-school environments. In this discussion-oriented panel, we will present several case studies of Scratch workshops in Israeli schools, and discuss the promise and the challenges.
Dr. Oren Zuckerman (PhD MIT Media Lab 2007) is the founder of IDC Herzliya's Media Innovation Lab (http://milab.idc.ac.il
), head of the interactive communication BA program, and head of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship GMBA program.
Zuckerman completed his MSc and PhD at MIT Media Lab, and his research is in the Human Computer Interaction field, with specific focus on mobile technologies for wellbeing and tangible interfaces for playful learning.
Zuckerman is a frequent speaker at HCI and media convergence events, and in 2001 the World Economic Forum recognized him as a "Technology Pioneer" at the annual forum in Davos, Switzerland.
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