“children need to experiment, they learn best by making things to show to others”.
This is a great description of our aims for a Scratch games link up with a school in New York. I had visited Global Neigborhood Secondary School in East Harlem, NYC, as part of a CfBT Education Trust study visit during the Easter holidays. The school works with Global Kids; a Hive funded not for profit organisation, which works with schools and out of school programmes in New York. Like London CLC, Global Kids supports schools and students through partnership work, which brings learning experiences using technology and culture to urban communities. Observing the students at GNSS working with inspirational Global Kids teacher Sara Vogel to create Scratch games around a social justice theme, I immediately saw the potential of encouraging a conversation between her students and the students we work with in South London.
Global Neighborhood Secondary School, East Harlem, NYC.
This term the students at GNSS and Crown Lane Primary School have played each other’s Scratch games and made video critiques of these games. Here are the games made by Grade 6 students at GNSS.
Next academic year we plan to get around time difference and timetabling challenges and set up Google Hangouts between the students. This is what the Crown Lane pupils, who are part of the Digital Leaders after school club, wrote about connecting with the students in East Harlem;
The games were hard but very fun. we love programing!!!”
“I know playing the games from New York certainly inspired them on to develop their ideas further and to put more detail in their games – they felt the bar was raised and they wanted to do well so that the other children enjoyed the games. They loved making the games for a ‘real’ audience rather than just for a school project .”
We are all looking forward to developing our games making partnership with the Global Neighborhood students and Global Kids next academic year.