The scratch effort was quite interesting. Not having a programming background I spent some time researching scratch and reviewing numerous examples. When looking at the code of some of the programs it became obvious I need to search out simple programs that would be somewhat easier to follow. I actually found a scratch program that walked you through the steps of elementary scratch programming. My biggest challenge was establishing an understanding of the flow and relationship between the available programming tools. I decided to focus on the requirements of creating something involving images, sound and animation with two sprites and 10 lines of code each. I must admit, I was more focused on learning the tool than I was with the outcome of my first effort. Even with limiting my focus to the basic requirements, I found this task to take much, much, longer than expected. I believe it is mostly due to dealing with it for the first time. The more you use it the easier it will become and you will quickly be able to code more complex programs. My take away with this tool would be that although I found it difficult, I believe our students today would find it quite intuitive. I would like to expose my third grade class to this program to see how far they could go with developing a simple program. Once these two classes are over, I would like to develop a simple code for my students and let them explore modifications.
In addition to the scratch program I found this week to present some very useful tools relative to the personal learning network. I spent quite a bit of time getting up to speed on reader and establishing some rather nice feeds. I was discussing reader with my husband, who is an engineer and considers himself tech savvy, but low and behold he was unaware of reader. After I enlightened, him he quickly asked if it could import search results from something like Craigslist. We took a quick scan on the web and found you can RSS the Craigslist searches right into your reader page.