Tag Archives: Scratch

Why scratch is overused

Firstly let me say one thing, I think scratch is a good little tool to get people into programming, however I think it is overused because when I did scratch/programming in I.T we only did Scratch, we didn’t move onto any programming languages after everyone was comfortable , we just did Scratch, nothing else.

So I think that my school and schools all over the U.K are misusing scratch as scratch wasn’t designed to replace traditional programming as you can’t export a normal .exe file, it was just designed to get people into programming. There were quite a few people in my class who really did enjoy scratch but they never moved onto an actual programming language like Python or C, probably because they had no idea how to start it or that it isn’t too difficult to learn. I’m sure that if they did start teaching programming right after scratch then quite a few people would of found it difficult,  but school is meant to be difficult, it’s meant to challenge you to let you learn new things, not just let you sit on your arse all day and learn nothing new.

I’ve got another example of simple WYSWIG drag and drop type editors being used in school, when my class was learning how to make websites using Microsoft Expression Web, so everyone including me got along dragging and dropping elements onto the page, but I hated the software so I shut it down opened Dreamweaver and started writing my website, and I did have to teach my self quite a bit of JavaScript  and some CSS but I ended up with a website that I was quite pleased with, not only because I thought it looked quite nice but I learned lots of useful CSS and JavaScript, but when people who were using Expression web asked me “how can I do something” I had no idea how to do it using the GUI sometimes I just didn’t know how to do it  but more often than not you physically cannot do it without going into the actual code of the website, and when I did that everyone was very scared at the code because it was filled with loads of WYSWIG junk code and they simply had no idea what any of it meant as they weren’t taught what them clicking lots of buttons on the GUI would actually do to the code and as a result them seeing the code, I’m sure they joined the club of people who think that all forms of programming is way too difficult for everyone, so they never look into it. Which is a real shame.

So while I think scratch is a useful tool to get people interested in programming in schools, teachers must take the extra step and actually teach them how to program, as I think when the people in this generation are working there will be a huge lack of programmers, which lots of I’m sure quite a few people would be surprised at, as many people call this generation the “Technology native generation” but I think that label is false, sure if you give an iPad to most kids they’ll be playing games in minutes but they don’t actually understand how those games work and they have no interest in looking into it, so I think people should stop calling this generation “technology native” as that label is wrong, the people who grew up with the first computers that run DOS are “Technology native” as they understand how computers work, not this generation.

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