Education: Scratch Extensions

Visual Programming Applications

October 16, 2014

Exciting news educators – Scratch extensions are now available! We debuted our Scratch 1.4 extension at the ISTE Conference this summer and it was a big hit. We’re now looking forward to seeing what you and your students can do with it (scroll down to find links to the resources you need to get started).

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New to Scratch? Scratch is a free platform, created out of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, that is an easy to use, visual way to program stories, games and animations. It helps children “think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively.” To learn more, check out the Scratch website.

With the extensions, you can connect Scratch software with littleBits hardware, adding yet another layer of sophistication to your programming lessons. We connected to Scratch using our Arduino module and have used it to control some of our favorite projects, including the FaceTime Car and the Animatronic Hand.

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In addition to the 1.4 version our engineers have created, Kreg Hanning, Technology Specialist from Lesley University, has also been working on an extension for the latest online 2.0 version. Kreg hosted a Google Hangout last night were he demo-ed his work; we were psyched to see it in action!

littleBits will also be releasing a full-feature Scratch 2.0 version in the near future that will have improved functionality and lower the barrier to entry – stay tuned! In the meantime, feel free to try out the extensions, collaborate on the code in GitHub, and send us your feedback in our forum.

To access the extensions, you can use the following links:

Scratch 1.4 (created by littleBits)

Forum Thread

Download the Extension – link to files (Mac OS X version)

Getting Started Guide (PDF) – instructions

GitHub Files – source codes

 

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Scratch 2.0 (created by Kreg Hanning)

Forum Thread – instructions and downloads

GitHub Files – source codes

 

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Combine Scratch + littleBits + other hardware 

Also be sure to check out this awesome hardware + software project created by Kazuhiro Abe using littleBits, Scratch, Raspberry Pi and a Micro LCD; the potentials are awesome.

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What programs and activities will you create with the littleBits Scratch Extensions? Add your lessons here and feel free to add your thoughts + feedback to our forum!