Rachel has left for a new job, so in some ways the Castilleja 23 Things challenge is over, but #23 was to try something new, and I thought I would share some reflections on one new thing I did try this summer: Scratch. I have been impressed in the past with the project my 7th grade collegue does with her history class in Scratch. The students work in pairs to create an interactive exhibit on one of the European explorers, their voyages, and the artifacts they found. It is a great project. When the students get to me in 8th grade, they seem proud of their projects, but not particularly interested in doing more with Scratch. It is time for them to move on to something new, and in math they do some programing in Python.
I may join them for some of the Python lessons in Flex this year, so I thought I should know a little bit about Scratch. At the end of CMK, after I had finished my telegraph, I had some time so I played around building a game from a tutorial, and then starting to design my own new game. The tutorial was easy, the implementation of my own game design not so much. My idea was a presidential elections game, where the heads of the two candidates would fall from the top of the screen, and the goal would be to shoot the loser. Each correct shot would get a point. And I think I know how to do it, but I did not get far enough even to have a prototype few screens. What struck me is how much work goes into game creation before the point of writing the code. I needed small photos of each of the presidents (not hard, just time consuming), and of each of the losing candidates (very hard, and time consuming). And then I needed to figure out the best way to code it. It is still on my list of things to do, and I would like to be able to complete it at least for the 20th century (much easier to find images of the losing candidates).
I look at some of the games I play now and think about all the design work that went into the game before it would work. And I appreciate that work more.