Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Scratch on Ubuntu

Today I had a personal visit from Bud the Teacher. We had a few things to discuss about our upcoming district tech fair, but as usual we soon were talking about big ideas and all sorts of stuff that we would like to see reach fruition.

Bud mentioned the possibility of using Scratch with some of our district Gifted and Talented student. Bud didn't even start by saying, "have you heard of Scratch?" No, by now he knows that if it deals with teaching programming and/or is open source, I probably have looked into it. I told Bud I would be happy to help teach Scratch to any interested teachers, possibly this upcoming June.

When I got home, I fired up my Ubuntu laptop, opened the command line and typed "scratch". I got the cold and impersonal Linux response of "command not found" and realized that I had NOT installed Scratch on my current Ubuntu version (8.10). I did recall, however, installing it on Ubuntu 8.04 and having it work great. A quick visit to this page had me up and running, scratching my way along in a neat little world of click and drag logic. I remember the days when Linux versions were a ton of work. That's changing, though, and more and more great apps for teachers are fully supported on Linux, with Ubuntu being the most common choice.

Gotta go. My Scratch is rusty....

Oh, and if you're like me, you'll want the source code. Happy {code} reading.


Ross Isenegger said...


Ever thought about hosting a two hour intro to
Scratch for interested teachers? I would love a quick introduction.

We could advertise it around the time of your work in June and use Adobe Connect or something.

RichSkyline said...

I think that's a great idea. Bud The Teacher wants to arrange something and Bud loves podcasting and other forms of presentations. I will ask Bud and see what we can come up with. I'm willing.

I was surprised how much my high school students liked Scratch. I presented it to them more as "if you learn this you may be able to help teach other teachers how to use Scratch", but they mostly just dove in and started programming, refering to it as Alice in 2D. :-)