All Blog Posts (159)

Light Drop-in Traffic on a Friday

I set up an informal drop-in Scratch workshop in the Children's area here at Brookdale last Friday. Unfortunately, Fridays are one of our quietest times, and traffic was light.

All but one of the 4 kids who stopped in were pressed for time, so there wasn't a lot of time to let them poke around and explore. I showed them how to make or import a sprite, how to add costume changes, and a few rudimentary blocks for costume change and movement. Here's the only project I was able to… Continue

Added by Alicia Anderson on March 24, 2010 at 4:23pm — 1 Comment

Spring Scratch at Rogers Library

I was pinch-hitting for Cynthia earlier this month and got to assist the Teen Tech Squad with a workshop at Rogers, one of the more outlying branches in HCL.

There were 6 boys in 4th and 5th grade, and none of them had used Scratch before. The teens gave a fairly brief introduction to the Scratch website. Then they went through just the basic functions: how to find or make a sprite, and how to make costumes; stamping, cutting, and enlarge/shrink; a few basic command and motion blocks.… Continue

Added by Alicia Anderson on March 24, 2010 at 4:05pm — 1 Comment

Tennessee Library Association Presentation

Hi everyone!

Our TLA Presentation was yesterday morning, and it went off without a hitch. Well, except we ran out of 'play time' just as everyone was really getting into exploring Scratch. There was someone there who was posting our presentation to School Library Journal as we were presenting. [Glad I didn't know about that at the time, or I would have been more nervous than I already was!] I haven't had much time to search for the post this morning, but I as soon as I find…


Added by on March 20, 2010 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

Ubuntu 9.1

Okay guys,

I have successfully downloaded Unubtu 9.1. But, now I am unsure how to get the OS burned to a disk or on a USB drive. I also downloaded a program called usblive-creator. But, the problem is I don't know how to get a Linux system to run these programs once I download them. Guess I have gotten lazy with all the Windows/Mac wizards that install everything for you!

Any helpful hints/suggestions?

BTW, I haven't forgotten about posting pictures and…


Added by on March 17, 2010 at 12:19pm — 5 Comments

Check out the Map!

We've added a Google map of the project sites and dissemination travels below on the home page. Send us additions, corrections or edits. This project is big!

Added by keithbraafladt on March 12, 2010 at 8:30am — No Comments

Widgets, Gadgets, and Gizmos...otherwise known as Adventures in Pico Boarding!

Hi all,

We had a great Teen Tech Week session here in Memphis today! [I was worried because Tuesday no one showed up for an Open Lab Session :( ] Today we had eight really engaged, bright teens and tweens. I think our youngest was nine. I began the session by walking everyone through the steps to build a simple circuit (like we all did in Minneapolis training). Then, we all added switches to our circuits. After much fumbling, everyone was on board. Then we moved to Scratch and wrote…


Added by on March 11, 2010 at 6:30pm — 5 Comments

Teen Tech Camp and computer configuration?

Hi all,

As we gear up here in Memphis for our annual Teen Tech Camp, I have a few questions about computer configuration. We have an available group of laptops here at the library that are off the server, and out of the system. It's a great setup when you want to add or delete programs, and perform updates. But, it has led to a situation where about half of our laptops are running Ubuntu (linux OS) and about half are running some variation of Windows. We would love to have all…


Added by on March 8, 2010 at 5:12pm — 18 Comments

Scratch Contest, part deux

Voting is now open in WPL's Scratch contest. You guys can vote, too! See what the kids did here:

So...we had three real entries and one "exhibition" entry that was made by a kid and his dad (but the dad did all the programming). I would've liked more, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

Added by Janet Piehl on February 9, 2010 at 2:06pm — 2 Comments

Scratch in the January/February issue of Computers in Libraries

Just saw an article by Juan Romero of the Free Library of Philadelphia describing after school technology programs hosted at the library. Although his main focus is on the LEGO robotics programs offered at the library, he also mentions FLP's Scratch and PicoCrickets offerings. Based upon my reading of the article, it's not very clear who is staffing these programs: they seem to rely a great deal upon Penn undergraduates to run the workshops.

Added by Brian Myers on February 9, 2010 at 10:06am — 1 Comment

Interview with Keith on the ScratchEd page

Was I the last person to notice this? A very nice, although brief, article about Keith and the LTC:

Added by Brian Myers on January 26, 2010 at 5:19pm — 1 Comment

Teen Tech Week and Adventures in Pico Boarding.

Hey guys,

Just trying to begin planning our Teen Tech Week Program. I know it's a bit early, the program is going to run March 11th. But, I was wondering if anyone had a source for all the supplies we used to create our little circuits? I had fun with mine and still have it on my desk as a sculpture, so I thought it would be a great way to get our participants engaged. I plan to do the circuit demo and then add the toilet paper roll switch. Then I want them to explore the pico boards and… Continue

Added by on January 14, 2010 at 9:34am — 7 Comments

Let It Snow! Scratch Contest

As promised, here's the story about WPL's Scratch contest. (This actually has nothing to do with the grant, but I thought you'd be interested nonetheless!) Kids are invited to make a project featuring snow--snowflakes, a snowball game, a ski race, falling snow, etc. They give their projects to me and, in February, I'll post them on the Scratch website. The project with the most Love Its wins. The winner gets a gift card for Borders and their project will be posted on our website.

The… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on January 6, 2010 at 11:25am — 3 Comments

Retrogaming event and Asteroids workshop

In Wilmette we've occasionally implemented an approach to workshops that combines a certain type of project with an existing affinity group such as our Anime Club or Game Design Club. Most recently we offered a program that included a retro gaming competition on the front end, followed by a game design workshop in which participants could make their own version of the seminal video game "Asteroids!"

The idea for this approach came out of a meeting of our Game Design Club as they were… Continue

Added by Brian Myers on December 14, 2009 at 2:16pm — 6 Comments

Computer Clubhouse

Just sharing a recent series of interviews on the Henry Jenkns blog that focus upon the Computer Clubhouse network:

- Brian

Added by Brian Myers on December 14, 2009 at 10:23am — 1 Comment

Assorted Workshops at HCL

In the last few weeks we hosted both formal and informal workshops at Hennepin County. Our informal workshop took place during one of our School Night @ the Library events, where we invite one entire elementary school (students, parents, teachers and their associates) to come to the library after we close. This particular event was for a local Hmong charter school, which has about 60 students. The school held a program for the parents in the meeting room while the kids were free to roam the… Continue

Added by Cynthia on December 9, 2009 at 12:29pm — 2 Comments

Last Scratch!

On Saturday I had my last Scratch program for this grant! After this Brian has one more program and then WPL will be done.

So...on Saturday I ran an open studio. Unfortunately all of our teen volunteers were busy, so I had to run it by myself. I'm starting to think we need a bigger pool of volunteers, but that's another story. Anyhow, it was a full program with a waiting list. We ended up with 11 kids, about half new people and half repeat attendees. We made winter… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on December 8, 2009 at 3:21pm — 1 Comment

Scratch Activity/Lesson/Let Template

Hi All,

Up in MN we're working with a designer to create a universal template that will assist session leaders, developers, helpers, AND Scratchers in development and dissemination of the work we are doing with Scratch. Our hope is that designer, Roger Barrett will create and incorporate some kind of visual language to connect all of our Lessons/Scratchlets/Activity Handouts/Pedagogy Tips, Plus more+! I've invited Roger to join us on the Media Mashup ning and he will be looking… Continue

Added by Sabrina Sutliff-Gross on November 30, 2009 at 8:41pm — No Comments

MacArthur Foundation on Digital Media learning

Here's a nice presentation about the importance of digital content creation for youth. Nichole Pinkard talks about her work at Youmedia (Chicago Public).

Added by Jen on November 30, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

Turkey Hunt and Rambling

This past week we had a two-part workshop. Most of the kids in Wilmette were off school for the whole week before Thanksgiving, so we had a full class with a waiting list. Unfortunately, the high school students were in school, so I didn't have a teen volunteer to help out.

Our project was making a Turkey Hunt game (see my last post for the project). I think the project is cool, and in general the kids liked it. But I have to say it was a little long and challenging for this group,… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on November 28, 2009 at 12:27pm — 2 Comments

Turkey Hunt

Just in time for Thanksgiving...a turkey hunt game! It's from a two-part program that's still in progress, but I just sent the game and the directions to Sabrina to post, in case anyone needs a pre-Thanksgiving project. It's posted here.

The game is a simplified version of Duck Hunt. And if you're a vegetarian, you can think of it as Tofurkey Hunt.

Added by Janet Piehl on November 23, 2009 at 8:43pm — 1 Comment

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