Discuss Scratch

Cub56
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Scratch is a visual, block based programming language but I notice that rather than focusing more on programming, Scratch in general seems to:

  • Cater to young children to quite a large extent
  • Use the Tips page in a way that seems simplistic
  • Not draw much attention to the complex things that can be done with Scratch

If some of these were changed, it would improve Scratch quite a lot and demonstrate the great features of Scratch in a much more beneficial way, in my opinion.

(These aren't quotes, they're just organised that way)

Young children
Scratch is targeted at 8-16 year olds but the site has features like sprites in the editor that could be considered childish, as well as the site hiding nearly all projects with a very small amount of violence in them, even though they are less violent than E10+ or 7+ games. A lot of projects that get featured seem to be projects that are more accessible to younger children, rather than projects that demonstrate the variety of things that can be made using Scratch's programming.

Rather than considering Scratch a “children's programming language”, it should be promoted as a visual programming language easy for beginners to use that is accessible and suitable for young people as well.

8-16 year olds aren't young children, but there seems to be a belief amongst non-Scratch programmers that Scratch is a children's “toy” programming language, when it's not. It would be good to not have this impression propagated further.

The Tips page
The Tips page contains tutorials for very simple projects, so it doesn't make it immediately obvious to new people that Scratch does more than just animate your name and allow you to make a Pong game. It would be good for Scratch to draw more attention to how these projects are programmed, as well as show examples of more complex projects to illustrate what users can create once they've learnt more skills in programming.

Complex things that can be done with Scratch
This is more true for games than other types of projects, but often very simple games get featured, and complex games often aren't. Seeing as the front page is the first thing people see, it doesn't do much to show the variety of projects that can be created. More complex projects should be featured as well - you can't assume they will get popular on their own.

What are your thoughts on this?

Last edited by Cub56 (Feb. 4, 2018 20:21:35)


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In the game you're stranded at sea after a mysterious crash and must survive in an unforgiving tropical island environment collecting resources and crafting, in an attempt to finally be rescued.



myeducate
Scratcher
500+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Complete support. If a parent didn't want their child exposed to “violent” projects, they wouldn't allow them to access the online community. Scratch should be more programming focused. Take Python, for example. Just because schools use Python, they don't go all “oh, you can only make ‘hello world’ programs on Python” and hide all the complex stuff you can do. Scratch should be the same(and maybe, in Scratch 3.0 have a switch between blocks and JSON)

SPA Member and Assosiate - Creator and overlord of ScratchNetwork - 700+ Forum Posts - Web and Desktop Dev - Fluent in VB, PHP and HTML. I'm okay at CSS and Javascript but am still learning. Sig written in PHP using the picture libary. Firebase is fun.

-ShadowOfTheFuture-
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

111% support!

Scratch doesn't need to be so child-oriented.

Isn't it so fun to click the images in people's signatures?

Inkulumo
Scratcher
100+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Support, I'm somewhat annoyed that even the more complex projects that involved even a tad bit of violence had to be changed to be something more child oriented. (@griffpatch's laser tag originally had guns AFAIK.)

Marb1
Scratcher
100+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Inkulumo wrote:

Support, I'm somewhat annoyed that even the more complex projects that involved even a tad bit of violence had to be changed to be something more child oriented. (@griffpatch's laser tag originally had guns AFAIK.)

12 year old elevator and aviation fan from Hong Kong!

My top 5 elevator companies:
  1. Otis
  2. Mitsubishi
  3. Kone
  4. Schindler
  5. ThyssenKrupp
Marb1
Scratcher
100+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.

12 year old elevator and aviation fan from Hong Kong!

My top 5 elevator companies:
  1. Otis
  2. Mitsubishi
  3. Kone
  4. Schindler
  5. ThyssenKrupp
DaEpikDude
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Marb1 wrote:

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.
mean criticism ≠ constructive criticism

I haven't changed my signature in a while now so here's some pi tau as a placeholder thing
6.2831853071 7958647692 5286766559 0057683943 3879875021 1641949889 1846156328 1257241799 7256069650 6842341359 6429617302 6564613294 1876892191 0116446345 0718816256 9622349005 6820540387 7042211119 2892458979 0986076392 8857621951 3318668922 5695129646 7573566330 5424038182 9129713384 6920697220 9086532964 2678721452 0498282547 4491740132 1263117634 9763041841 9256585081 8343072873 5785180720 0226610610 9764093304 2768293903 8830232188 6611454073 1519183906 1843722347 6386522358 6210237096 1489247599 2549913470 3771505449 7824558763 6602389825 9667346724 8813132861 7204278989 2790449474 3814043597 2188740554 1078434352 5863535047 6934963693 5338810264 0011362542 9052712165 5571542685 5155792183 4727435744 2936881802 4499068602 9309917074 2101584559 3785178470 8403991222 4258043921 7280688363 1962725954 9542619921 0374144226 9999999674 5956099902 1194634656 3219263719 0048918910 6938166052 8504461650 6689370070 5238623763 4202000627 5677505773 1750664167 6284123435 5338294607 1965069808 5751093746 2319125727 7647075751 8750391556 3715561064 3424536132 2600385575 3222391818 4328403978 7619051440 2130971726 5577318723 0676365593 6460603904 0706037059 3799154724 5198827782 4994435505 6695826303
1149714484 9083013919 0165906623 3723455711 7781501967 6350927492 9878638510 1208018554 0334227801 9697648025 7167232071 2741532020 9420363885 9111923978 9353567489 8896510759 5494536942 0809506929 2416093368 5181389825 8662735405 7978304209 5043241139 3204811607 6300387022 5067648600 7117528049 4992946527 8283985452 0853984559 3564709563 2720186834 4328243984 9172630060 5723659491 1141349967 7010989177 1738539913 8185442159 5018605910 6423306899 7440551192 0472961330 9982397636 6959550713 2739614853 0850557251 0363683514 9345781955 5455876001 6329412003 2290498384 3464344295 4470028288 3947137096
MathlyCat
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Marb1 wrote:

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.
I think you haven't read the Community Guidelines…

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Marb1
Scratcher
100+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

MathlyCat wrote:

Marb1 wrote:

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.
I think you haven't read the Community Guidelines…
I have, but I just think that criticism should be allowed - kids need to get used to it. Part of the reason why I IRL give huge negative reactions to criticism (which my parents don't like) is this overprotective website.

Last edited by Marb1 (Feb. 5, 2018 05:56:50)


12 year old elevator and aviation fan from Hong Kong!

My top 5 elevator companies:
  1. Otis
  2. Mitsubishi
  3. Kone
  4. Schindler
  5. ThyssenKrupp
Marb1
Scratcher
100+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Cub56 wrote:

Scratch is a visual, block based programming language but I notice that rather than focusing more on programming, Scratch in general seems to:

  • Cater to young children to quite a large extent
  • Use the Tips page in a way that seems simplistic
  • Not draw much attention to the complex things that can be done with Scratch

If some of these were changed, it would improve Scratch quite a lot and demonstrate the great features of Scratch in a much more beneficial way, in my opinion.

(These aren't quotes, they're just organised that way)

Young children
Scratch is targeted at 8-16 year olds but the site has features like sprites in the editor that could be considered childish, as well as the site hiding nearly all projects with a very small amount of violence in them, even though they are less violent than E10+ or 7+ games. A lot of projects that get featured seem to be projects that are more accessible to younger children, rather than projects that demonstrate the variety of things that can be made using Scratch's programming.

Rather than considering Scratch a “children's programming language”, it should be promoted as a visual programming language easy for beginners to use that is accessible and suitable for young people as well.

8-16 year olds aren't young children, but there seems to be a belief amongst non-Scratch programmers that Scratch is a children's “toy” programming language, when it's not. It would be good to not have this impression propagated further.

The Tips page
The Tips page contains tutorials for very simple projects, so it doesn't make it immediately obvious to new people that Scratch does more than just animate your name and allow you to make a Pong game. It would be good for Scratch to draw more attention to how these projects are programmed, as well as show examples of more complex projects to illustrate what users can create once they've learnt more skills in programming.

Complex things that can be done with Scratch
This is more true for games than other types of projects, but often very simple games get featured, and complex games often aren't. Seeing as the front page is the first thing people see, it doesn't do much to show the variety of projects that can be created. More complex projects should be featured as well - you can't assume they will get popular on their own.

What are your thoughts on this?
I agree. Scratch is NOT A TOY! I hate it when teachers don't want me to use Scratch because they think it's a toy.

12 year old elevator and aviation fan from Hong Kong!

My top 5 elevator companies:
  1. Otis
  2. Mitsubishi
  3. Kone
  4. Schindler
  5. ThyssenKrupp
wWSunPandaWw
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Marb1 wrote:

MathlyCat wrote:

Marb1 wrote:

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.
I think you haven't read the Community Guidelines…
I have, but I just think that criticism should be allowed - kids need to get used to it. Part of the reason why I IRL give huge negative reactions to criticism (which my parents don't like) is this overprotective website.
Yes, but your type of criticism is flat-out being rude, not constructive.

To the OP:
Support.
Scratch was made to get kids excited about programming, and the tips page helps them get started with that, but I do believe that we need to get the older kids more excited about programming if they're just starting.
Maybe the tips page, at the top, could start out simplistic, with the stuff they have now, then as you scroll down, could give you more complex stuff to work on, like with variables, lists, custom blocks, etc.
Or the tips page could be separated into complexity levels, like Level 1, 2, etc, like with Level 1 being the simple programming we have in the tips page right now, Level 2 could be adding some variables, Level 3, maybe working with some pen or something. When you're at the Tips page, at the top, you could click buttons on a drop-down menu to skip to certain levels, to kids who want help working more complex stuff don't have to scroll and scroll and scroll…
DaEpikDude
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Marb1 wrote:

MathlyCat wrote:

Marb1 wrote:

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.
I think you haven't read the Community Guidelines…
I have, but I just think that criticism should be allowed - kids need to get used to it. Part of the reason why I IRL give huge negative reactions to criticism (which my parents don't like) is this overprotective website.
“This sucks!” is not criticism. That's an insult.
Criticism (or at least good criticism) follows this sort of structure:
- here's what you're trying to do
- here's what's good
- here's what's bad
- here's how you can IMPROVE the bad and make it good

Saying something is boring without any explanation WHY it's boring doesn't help anyone.

I haven't changed my signature in a while now so here's some pi tau as a placeholder thing
6.2831853071 7958647692 5286766559 0057683943 3879875021 1641949889 1846156328 1257241799 7256069650 6842341359 6429617302 6564613294 1876892191 0116446345 0718816256 9622349005 6820540387 7042211119 2892458979 0986076392 8857621951 3318668922 5695129646 7573566330 5424038182 9129713384 6920697220 9086532964 2678721452 0498282547 4491740132 1263117634 9763041841 9256585081 8343072873 5785180720 0226610610 9764093304 2768293903 8830232188 6611454073 1519183906 1843722347 6386522358 6210237096 1489247599 2549913470 3771505449 7824558763 6602389825 9667346724 8813132861 7204278989 2790449474 3814043597 2188740554 1078434352 5863535047 6934963693 5338810264 0011362542 9052712165 5571542685 5155792183 4727435744 2936881802 4499068602 9309917074 2101584559 3785178470 8403991222 4258043921 7280688363 1962725954 9542619921 0374144226 9999999674 5956099902 1194634656 3219263719 0048918910 6938166052 8504461650 6689370070 5238623763 4202000627 5677505773 1750664167 6284123435 5338294607 1965069808 5751093746 2319125727 7647075751 8750391556 3715561064 3424536132 2600385575 3222391818 4328403978 7619051440 2130971726 5577318723 0676365593 6460603904 0706037059 3799154724 5198827782 4994435505 6695826303
1149714484 9083013919 0165906623 3723455711 7781501967 6350927492 9878638510 1208018554 0334227801 9697648025 7167232071 2741532020 9420363885 9111923978 9353567489 8896510759 5494536942 0809506929 2416093368 5181389825 8662735405 7978304209 5043241139 3204811607 6300387022 5067648600 7117528049 4992946527 8283985452 0853984559 3564709563 2720186834 4328243984 9172630060 5723659491 1141349967 7010989177 1738539913 8185442159 5018605910 6423306899 7440551192 0472961330 9982397636 6959550713 2739614853 0850557251 0363683514 9345781955 5455876001 6329412003 2290498384 3464344295 4470028288 3947137096
Marb1
Scratcher
100+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

wWSunPandaWw wrote:

Marb1 wrote:

MathlyCat wrote:

Marb1 wrote:

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.
I think you haven't read the Community Guidelines…
I have, but I just think that criticism should be allowed - kids need to get used to it. Part of the reason why I IRL give huge negative reactions to criticism (which my parents don't like) is this overprotective website.
Yes, but your type of criticism is flat-out being rude, not constructive.

To the OP:
Support.
Scratch was made to get kids excited about programming, and the tips page helps them get started with that, but I do believe that we need to get the older kids more excited about programming if they're just starting.
Maybe the tips page, at the top, could start out simplistic, with the stuff they have now, then as you scroll down, could give you more complex stuff to work on, like with variables, lists, custom blocks, etc.
Or the tips page could be separated into complexity levels, like Level 1, 2, etc, like with Level 1 being the simple programming we have in the tips page right now, Level 2 could be adding some variables, Level 3, maybe working with some pen or something. When you're at the Tips page, at the top, you could click buttons on a drop-down menu to skip to certain levels, to kids who want help working more complex stuff don't have to scroll and scroll and scroll…

DaEpikDude wrote:

Marb1 wrote:

MathlyCat wrote:

Marb1 wrote:

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.
I think you haven't read the Community Guidelines…
I have, but I just think that criticism should be allowed - kids need to get used to it. Part of the reason why I IRL give huge negative reactions to criticism (which my parents don't like) is this overprotective website.
“This sucks!” is not criticism. That's an insult.
Criticism (or at least good criticism) follows this sort of structure:
- here's what you're trying to do
- here's what's good
- here's what's bad
- here's how you can IMPROVE the bad and make it good

Saying something is boring without any explanation WHY it's boring doesn't help anyone.
True.

12 year old elevator and aviation fan from Hong Kong!

My top 5 elevator companies:
  1. Otis
  2. Mitsubishi
  3. Kone
  4. Schindler
  5. ThyssenKrupp
Scratchifier
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Scratch won't stop being a toy programming language until it can run at 60fps, has executable compilation, fullscreen support and actually useful resources. (No, Scratch, adding stereotypical 20 second hip hop loops and letter sprites doesn't improve overall project quality)
Marb1
Scratcher
100+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Scratchifier wrote:

Scratch won't stop being a toy programming language until it can run at 60fps, has executable compilation, fullscreen support and actually useful resources. (No, Scratch, adding stereotypical 20 second hip hop loops and letter sprites doesn't improve overall project quality)
I have to admit, that IS partly true.

12 year old elevator and aviation fan from Hong Kong!

My top 5 elevator companies:
  1. Otis
  2. Mitsubishi
  3. Kone
  4. Schindler
  5. ThyssenKrupp
Cub56
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Scratchifier wrote:

Scratch won't stop being a toy programming language until it can run at 60fps, has executable compilation, fullscreen support and actually useful resources. (No, Scratch, adding stereotypical 20 second hip hop loops and letter sprites doesn't improve overall project quality)
What do you mean by toy? I agree with higher framerates and executables though.

Check out Life Raft Survival, my new advanced sandbox survival game with crafting, building, transportation, weather events, tropical storms, and more!

In the game you're stranded at sea after a mysterious crash and must survive in an unforgiving tropical island environment collecting resources and crafting, in an attempt to finally be rescued.



PrincessFlowerTV
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

I'd love to agree, but if scratch did suddenly become more mature, scratch would be kicking out a ton of people, like all the kids who use scratch at school. Teachers and parents may be un-comfortable.
No support.

Last edited by PrincessFlowerTV (Feb. 9, 2018 20:15:17)



~~ Christian ~~ Mildly Dyslexic ~~ Homeschooled ~~ Forum Helper ~~ Teen ~~ Skater ~~
Generation 379: the first time you see this copy and paste it on top of your sig in the scratch forums and increase generation by 1. Social experiment. I did not start this.
agentToast
Scratcher
100+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

Agreed. The site is for 8-16 year olds,yet they only focus on the 8 yeAr olds. The tips page might make it seem that coding is all just some basic sprites moving, when it is not.

They make it seem so childish. And it's getting even more childish.

The 3.0 Scratch is looking all bubbly and aimed towards younger people.

And the website is way to sensitive to any ‘rude’ thing.
The reason the bad word detector goes off all the time, it's because they completely childproof do anything sounding like an insult.
The reason many are banned for doing nothing, because it's childproofed.

This is my main problem with scratch.

100% support.

TheMonsterOfTheDeep
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

I fail to see what any of Scratch's rules regarding content have to do with focusing on programming. The technical complexity of a project has no relationship to the content guidelines that Scratch currently maintains.

Aside from that, I would agree that there are changes that could be made to Scratch's presentation that would help encourage users to pursue more advanced projects.

However, I imagine that the non-programming-focus of Scratch is almost inevitable, due to the fact that many young people are introduced to it without having an interest in programming. It seems only natural that people who use Scratch but don't have an interest in programming would gravitate towards making animations and related projects, as they have the tools to do so.

If there was some way to get more of the people introduced to Scratch to become interested in programming, I imagine that people would naturally want to make more advanced projects. But I don't quite know how to do that.

The problem is that people new to programming have to start with something simple, but the simple projects that people start out with also do not foster interest in programming. I think that placing emphasis on interactive projects might be the way to go, because that is what gets people excited about programming–the ability to get the computer to do what they want–especially in the case of games and things.

I personally remember that when I first learned Scratch, somebody else on the computer I was using had made a sort of Space Invaders-type project, and I was really curious what some of the blocks in it did. Maybe throwing people into slightly deep water, so they can see things that they don't know but might want to learn, would help spark interest in programming.

my latest extension: 2d vector math
myeducate
Scratcher
500+ posts

Scratch needs to be more focused on programming

DaEpikDude wrote:

Marb1 wrote:

Actually, Scratch's standards confuse me. Apparently mild cartoon violence is OK, but I can get an alert for saying “What the heck is this project?”, “this sucks!”, “boring” or “0/10”? Real game reviews can have MUCH worse language! Kids need to learn to deal with mean criticism, especially if they're future app developers! Cuz a lot of people use a 0-10 rating system but it's biased as anything under like 6 or 7/10 is reportable. And most projects on Scratch really are boring.
mean criticism ≠ constructive criticism
^^^^^^^^^^^

SPA Member and Assosiate - Creator and overlord of ScratchNetwork - 700+ Forum Posts - Web and Desktop Dev - Fluent in VB, PHP and HTML. I'm okay at CSS and Javascript but am still learning. Sig written in PHP using the picture libary. Firebase is fun.

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