Sunday, August 16, 2015


Creative Communities
August 12-15, 2015

Over the past week, I had the opportunity to participate in the Scratch 2015 Creative Communities Conference. Throughout the course of this conference, many presenters and community members spoke and demonstrated the many different ways they use Scratch, Scratch based or similar programs. The similar idea behind many community members was that the highest level of learning, thinking and instruction is through creation and that no one person can do that in a silo; hence the topic of "Creative Communities".  Here are just a few of the multitude of topics that I came across this week.

Online - Web Based


ScratchX allows you to try out experimental extensions to the Scratch programming environment. With extensions, you can connect Scratch to the physical world (such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, LeapMotion, Littlebits) and online resources (Twitter, Musical Effects, ISS Tracker).


Beetle Blocks is a graphical blocks-based programming environment for 3D design and fabrication. Use code to control a beetle that can place 3D shapes and extrude its path as a tube. Then make a 3D print! (Same premise as Scratch but with X, Y and Z AXIS)

Dr. Scratch

You receive feedback to improve your coding skills. You can track your progress through charts and stats. Soon to come Teacher "dashboard" to see student progress over time.  Currently, teachers and upload csv files of all students projects and receive csv files in response.  

Simulation and Programming Tools

The power to learn from creating a program and seeing the result is the basis of the tools and platforms we’ve developed – for teaching complex systems, computational thinking, and providing an easier entry into computer science. Using our programming platforms, students can generate models of real-world systems, make games to better-understand their environment, and create working apps for mobile devices.


Based on a browser-based educational programming language (Snap!) to generate patterns for embroidery machines. It is easy to use, requiring no prior knowledge in programming, yet powerful in creating nowels patterns for embroidery. It is usefull for designers to experiment with generative aesthetics and precision embroidery as well as tool for innovative workshops combining an introduction to programing with haptic output.

Turtlestitch uses Snap!s "pen module" which it interprets as a needle and transforms its output into widely-used embroidery file formats.


Snap! allows you to Build Your Own Blocks. It also features first class lists, first class procedures, and continuations. These added capabilities make it suitable for a serious introduction to computer science for high school or college students. Snap! runs in your browser and is implemented using Javascript.

IPad and/or Android


Programming re-imagined for the connected world. Learn to program Arduino, drones, robots, connected toys, and smart home devices, all wirelessly. Tickle is easy to learn, fun to use, and 1000x more powerful!



MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between.

Dash & Dot - Can be programmed with Tickle
  • Dash arrives fully assembled and ready to play.
  • Use a supported iPad (iPad 3+, Mini, Air) to access free Wonder Workshop apps that control Dash. Limited Android support. See device support below.
  • Dash can hear sounds, detect objects, even respond to the sound of your voice using sensors.
  • Program Dash to do anything you imagine. Deliver a message to a friend, have a dance party, and even navigate through an obstacle course.

OllieCan be programmed with Tickle

  • iOS & Android compatible
  • Apps: Driving & Programming
  • Durable polycarbonate body
  • Built-in LED glow
  • Bluetooth LE connection up to 98ft (30m)
  • Drives over 14 mph (6m/s)
  • USB charging (cable included)
  • Automatic firmware updates

LightBlue Bean (Arduino)Can be programmed with Tickle

  • We provide you with Mac and iOS applications to program and use the Beans with!
  • To get you projects started, follow our guide!
  • The Bean can be used as an iBeacon, and has Pin Codes available for Security
  • Built-in Arduino - Atmega328p
  • BLE - Bluetooth 4.0 - Bluetooth Low Energy

Parrot Minidrone - Can be programmed with Tickle

  • An ultra-compact drone with amazing stability and speed, indoors and outdoors
  • Turns 90° and 180° and performs acrobatic 360° forward and backward flips
  • Fitted with a propeller circuit-breaker in the event of a crash
  • Removable wheels to roll anywhere: across the floor, up the walls or across the ceiling
  • Take aerial shots like selfies from the sky with the embedded vertical mini-camera
  • FreeFlight 3 app offers an intuitive control from your smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth® Smart and is free
  • Lithium-Polymer battery, rechargeable and removable, lasts up to 8 minutes and full recharge in 1 hour

SpheroCan be programmed with Tickle

  • Robot, Smart Toy, Gaming System
  • Geek out with the smartest toy on the block. Now faster and brighter than ever, this robot will change the way you play.
  • Now faster, brighter, and smarter than ever. The future of gaming is here, and you hold the power.
  • Unleash Spheros inner robot and program like a pro.

No Computer...No Problem!! 

Hello Ruby

Hello Ruby is a children's book that teaches programming fundamentals through stories and kid-friendly activities.

CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. We originally developed this so that young students could dive head-first into computer science, experiencing the kinds of questions and challenges that computer scientists experience, but without having to learn programming first.  The collection was originally intended as a resource for outreach and extension, but with the adoption of computing and computational thinking into many classrooms around the world, it is now widely used for teaching.

Scratch for Kids for Dummies by Derek Breen

Extra Resources 

Website -

Twitter Feed - #Scratch2015AMS

Scratch2015 Conference Keynotes, Ignite sessions, etc.

Creative Computing 

The guide can be used in a variety of settings (classrooms, clubs, museums, libraries, and more) with a variety of learners (K-12, college, and beyond). No prior experience with computer programming is required, only a sense of adventure!

New Dimensions to Scratch 

Great mix of resources - Scratch Cards - Remix Projects - Inspiration - Example Extension Projects

Scratch Card Template

No comments:

Post a Comment