Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Seprod helps teachers prep for Scratch Day

Published:Monday | April 24, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Marvin Hall and his team
Teachers' workshop
Participants in the teachers' workshop.
Having fun at the workshop.
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Seprod Foundation last Thursday hosted more than 30 teachers at the first of five training workshops to be held ahead of the nation's first-ever participation in Scratch Day - a global network of events where people gather to celebrate Scratch, the free coding platform and online community for kids.

Scratch Day events bring together young people from the Scratch community to share projects, learn from each other, and welcome newcomers.

Last Thursday, representatives of a wide cross section of basic schools and early-childhood institutions, as well as primary, high, tertiary institutions and government agencies, attended the workshop, eager to learn about Scratch.

Nineteen schools were represented with teachers from Pembroke Hall, Half-Way Tree Primary, St Michael's Primary, St Thomas Technical High, Sts Peter & Paul Prep, among other schools within the Corporate Area.

EXTREMELY EXCITED

"The teachers were extremely excited to learn about Scratch and particularly loved the fact that it is free and it works offline," said Marvin Hall, founder of Halls of Learning.

"Additionally, they were further motivated to know that all the resources we used in their activities were freely available online, along with a vibrant Scratch community of educators worldwide. The teachers left the workshop feeling equipped to do activities with their students for Scratch Day, whether using a single computer, small groups or a computer lab."

Marvia Thomas, of Creative Kids Learning Academy said technology has changed the way in which she teaches as it has broadened her horizons and allows her students to learn better problem-solving skills. She also believes that the greatest impact on how students learn is the fun and interactive way the lessons are taught.

The other workshops will be held on April 29-30 and May 6-7 at General Accident, 58 Half-Way Tree Road in St Andrew.

... Scratch facts

• As part of their registration, teachers can go to the Scratch website https://day.scratch.mit.edu/ and create a user name, becoming a part of the community and allowing them access to all the online resources.

• Scratch Day will be May 12.

• Scratch is a global network of events that focuses on online and offline coding platforms where teachers and students get together to work on various coding projects. The event will be held at the regional headquarters at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and is expected to be attended by about 300 students.

• Seprod Foundation is hosting the first ever Scratch Day in Jamaica as part of its mandate to invest in the human capital of Jamaica to not only inspire more careers in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, but also to equip the nation for a more rewarding future.

• Teachers can register for the training workshop at: https://hallsoflearning.typeform.com/to/QiawYJ