Programming Language Scratch Gets Its Own MOOC

January 28, 2015 | 18:18
Programming Language Scratch Gets Its Own  MOOC
Programming Language Scratch Gets Its Own MOOC
The online eduction platform EdX is offering a Massive Open Online Course in computer science using Scratch.

In a recent article Why Teaching Code Matters, Dorien Zandbergen makes a case for promoting a general understanding of how information systems work. Since a system's design forces users to interact with technology in a certain way, people ought to understand what decisions are being forced upon them, she argues.

Disseminating coder wisdom
The hands-on contribution of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to disseminating coder wisdom is Scratch, a programming language developed to teach code to kids and beginners in a easy and playful way. Scratch is used to create games and animations or, with a modification, program certain hardware platforms like Arduino and LEGO Mindstorms.

Introductory programming course
Colleen Lewis, a computer science professor at Harvey Mudd College, has developed an introductory course in computer science using Scratch to explain the basics of programming. The lectures will be offered on EdX, the online platform where anyone with an internet connection can enroll in courses of MIT, Harvard, Berkeley and other universities.

Teaching code to all
Lewis is specialized in teaching code. Computer science, compared to some other fields, has few established teaching standards. As a contributing member of the CS Teaching Tips project she documents best practices for computer education and methods that ensure equal learning opportunity for all students.

The course Programming in Scratch starts February 2 and runs for six weeks.
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