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Universität Bremen - Fachbereich 3 - Informatik


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Scratch: Programming in Youth Communities

Datum: 02.06.2010

Ort: Cartesium Rotunde

Vortragende(r): Prof. Dr. Yasmin B. Kafai (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, U.S.A.)


Following in the footsteps of Logo, Scratch was developed to
appeal to youth who hadn’t previously imagined themselves as
programmers. Our goal was to make it easy for everyone, people of all
ages, backgrounds, and interests, to program their own interactive
stories, games, animations, and simulations – and to share their
creations with one another. Since the public launch in May 2007, the
Scratch website (http://scratch.mit.edu) has become a vibrant online
community, with people sharing, discussing, and remixing one another’s
projects. The collection of projects is wildly diverse: video games,
interactive newsletters, science simulations, virtual tours, birthday
cards, animated dance contests, interactive tutorials, and many
others, all programmed in Scratch. As they program and share projects,
Scratchers learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work
collaboratively. In this presentation, I will talk about results from
various research studies on Scratch programming, on patterns of
participation in the online Scratch community, and the development of
expertise among young Scratch programmers concluding with an outlook
on upcoming developments.


As a learning scientist, Dr. Kafai examines digital media designs
and learning cultures through the lens of constructionist theory. Her
early work, published in "Minds in Play: Computer Game Design as a
Context for Children’s Learning" (1995), set the foundation for
programmatic initiatives on game design for learning in the United
States and Europe. "Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat" (2008) presented
new developments in gender and gaming. Her recent collaboration with
the MIT Media Laboratory have resulted in the design of Scratch
(scratch.mit.edu) for Computer Clubhouses, a worldwide network of
community technology centers, that she also documented in a recent
book edition "The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity
in Youth Communities" (2009). Supported by the National Science
Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kafai is now spearheading
grants with MIT and Indiana University to investigate how the design
of computational textile construction kits and communities can help
broaden participation in computing. She is the co-executive editor of
the Journal of the Learning Sciences and a professor of education and
computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Yasmin Kafai is currently guest researcher at the University of Bremen
(AG dimeb, Informatik)