Monday, 16 December 2013

Physical Computing with Scratch and Arduino

In my previous post, I briefly touched on the 21st Century Learning paradigm and Scratch, a visual block based programming tool developed by a collaboration between elementary educators and MIT computer science scholars (oh…..did I say Scratch is free ??). 
Since its inception in 2007, their web site has become a vibrant online community with (reportedly) more than a million Scratchers worldwide sharing and remixing their projects. Check out their site at http://scratched.media.mit.edu/, there are tons of information to learn and share.

A number of derivatives has emerged with added features that was not available in Scratch. The most popular being SNAP, developed by Jens Mönig of University of California, Berkeley. It’s a web-based application though, might not be favourable or suitable to those with connectivity issues

Next development well-worth mentioning created by Citilab from Spain, is S4A, short for “Scratch for Arduino”. It provides new blocks for managing sensors and actuators connected to Arduino micro controller.

With its pins mostly assigned to its specific function, it doesn’t provide any flexibility at all. But hey, what more do you expect ???  It’s free and a good start for beginners.  For those who likes to get physical (definitely NOT with Olivia Newton-John), S4A is absolutely right up your alley. 

Scratch and Arduino practically equates to Physical Computing !!!


More about Scratch coming up soon, where I’ll go through a short tutorial and some projects from there on.

Happy Scratching.