Revision as of 21:51, 1 June 2008 by Jmaloney (talk | contribs) (Download)
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The Scratch folks are porting it to OLPC.

What is Scratch

Scratch is a highly engaging language that allows young students to create simple programs and games. Students use a drag and drop interface of "code blocks" to create sound, movement and actions to objects called "sprites."

A teacher writes: My 6th grade students enjoyed using Scratch. The Scratch website is well designed with both video and written tutorials. My students were especially pleased to be able to upload their completed projects directly to the Scratch Page. This gave the children a much larger audience than they would have gotten simply uploading to our classroom wiki page.

The Scratch team is currently working on an XO version of Scratch. The initial version has little integration with the XO and some of the features do not yet work on the XO, including the "note" and "drum" blocks and support for the Scratch Sensor Board. Scratch will be improved incrementally.

Scratch works fairly well in an XO environment. Several sample projects are included, and students find it fun to open them and edit them as they wish. The main gotcha is that this download doesn't contain the full Media folder (which is included in the Windows installation). The Media folder contains additional Costumes, Backgrounds and Sounds that students can drop into their projects. The default install on XO is 6 MB, and the extra media files are about 14 additional MB.

Suggestion: it would be nice if Scratch could give an optional Media package. (Good idea! See below!)

How to get started: For young children, the best way to get them interested in scratch is to show them a video tutorial and have them open up complete projects and see how they work.

Make sure to check out the Scratch video tutorials ( for insight about how to use it. MIT's site also has downloadable PDFs with sample projects and reference guides.

If you have feedback about the XO version of Scratch, please write to scratch-xo at


Media and Sample Project Download

To save download time and space in the XO file system, the XO version of Scratch includes only a subset of the sample projects and media library (images and sounds) that come with the full version of Scratch. If you would like the full versions of the sample project and media library folders, you can download and install the following ZIP files:

You will need to install these folders manually using the Terminal tool. First locate the Scratch activity folder. In that folder, delete the Media and Projects folders that came with XO version of Scratch. Then, unzip the above ZIP files to replace them. (These versions include everything that came with the XO version of Scratch plus much more.)

Note: In some some settings (e.g. rural Cambodia), many of the images in the Media folder seem out of place, irrelevant, or meaningless. It is perfectly reasonable to edit or augment the Media and Sample projects folder. For example, it might be appropriate to create your own image library with digital photos of people, animals, buildings, and vehicles from the local environment. It may be possible to make this a participatory activity, with students helping to collect or draw images.

See also