Introduction to ScratchJr
ScratchJr is an iPad app that a gives young children (aged between 5 to 7) an introduction to programming. Kids can develop games with few easy steps. Using graphical programming blocks, children can make characters move, jump, dance and sing. In the process, children learn to solve problems, design projects and express themselves creatively using the iPad. ScratchJr can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store.
ScratchJr is a collaboration between the DevTech Research Group at Tufts University, the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, and the Playful Invention Company.
To start creating a new project just select a character and start dragging and dropping blocks from the block palette. All commands start with the Green flag and end with the End blocks. What comes in-between is up to kids. Kids can make their character move, talk, appear and disappear simply by adding the corresponding command to the script. Kids can change their stories background. There is a lot of pre-set scenes available and these can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Change Background’ button.