Showing off Scratch
I’m testing out my new Flip Ultra video camera this week, so I used the camera’s built-in software to edit and automatically upload to YouTube this 5-minute video clip (playable above) of our guest speaker, Richard Bullington-McGuire, and his 7-year-old son Patrick as they talk about the projects they and Richard’s students have done in the MIT Media Lab‘s free Scratch animation and programming software. In his talk, Richard said he finds the user interface of Scratch much more inviting than the eToys activity bundled with the XO. Scratch, however, still needs to have its interface “sugarized” to be more readable on the XO’s high resolution screen. I particularly enjoyed seeing Richard’s laminated set of Scratch Cards. The Scratch Cards illustrate a basic feature on one side and show the programming steps on the back. It would be great to have a large set of these for the XO and its bundled activities.
From my photos on Flickr, you can see that at this month’s meeting, we continued to attract a diverse group of parents, kids (lots of them!) and other XO fans of all ages. We made some more progress in getting the school server up and running on a laptop with an active antenna, but alas, we didn’t have a USB-to-ethernet adapter so that we could bridge to the open internet through the server.
Pizza for lunch was an impromptu suggestion at noon which produced enough contributions from the group to have Capital Pizza deliver a pile of pies and liters of drinks. Thanks again to Kevin Cole of the Gallaudet Research Institute for handling all the logistics of the meeting room. We are scheduled to meet back at Gallaudet in May.