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Follow, Tinker, Play, Share Your Way to Scratch Art

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Saturday, December 5, 12:00–1:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Bea Leiderman  
Dr. William Rankin  

Even when tools are easy to use, it helps to have a structured method for easing students' fear of just jumping into making and coding. Join in the Scratch fun and leave with ideas for helping all learners play with code and images using the pen and graphic tools.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Browser
account at
If needed, adapter for a USB cord
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

This session aims to provide participants with a structure to help both students and teachers learn to use creative tools. The Scratch activity will serve both as an introduction to Scratch and as a model for teachers and coaches to use follow/tinker/play/share to help learners through projects. These steps can be interpreted as following the idea of direct instruction/guided practice/independent practice/performance assessment. Participants will be given a link to a very simple Scratch project, then start to modify parts of the product responding to guiding questions. After sharing their creations, participants modify their project further, this time relying on their own interests and ideas, experimenting with additional Scratch blocks. Finally, all teams share their projects, showcasing new skills and participate in feedback conversations.


Participants are introduced to the follow/tinker/play/share model and some of the concepts behind it, such as communities of practice and social constructionism. 15 minutes

Follow: Complete basic challenge based on detailed instructions using Scratch/Makey-Makey. 10 minutes

Tinker: Add features and modify project based on challenges with less detailed instructions. 15 minutes

Play: Modify project by adding/eliminating features based on participant-selected challenge. 20 minutes

Share: Gallery walk where all participants see all projects, give feedback, and ask questions. 20 minutes (done through the Scratch website on a shared studio space where all participants share their projects)

Concluding conversation and Q/A 10 minutes

Supporting research

Charles, Rankin, Speight (2019). Education, Knowledge, and Learning: an overview of research and theory about constructionism and making. London: Pi-top publishing. 2nd ed.

Rankin, Leiderman (2018). A Learning Journey: exploring new paths in teaching and learning. London: The Educational Collaborative for International Schools.

Mehta, Fine (2019). In Search of Deeper Learning: the quest to remake the American high school. Cambridge MA: Harvard UP.

Kolb (1984). “The process of experiential learning” In
Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, nJ: Prentice-Hall. www. experiential-learning.pd

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Bea Leiderman, Independent Consultant
Dr. William Rankin, Unfold Learning LLC

Dr William Rankin is a learning-experience and learning-frameworks designer and educational theorist who served as worldwide Director of Learning at Apple from 2013 through 2016. An academic with more than 25 years of classroom experience, Rankin helped design the world’s first iOS-based 1:1 learning program for higher education, for which he was named Campus Technology magazine’s 2008 Innovator of the Year for mobile learning. He has worked with schools, governments, and organizations in more than 30 countries to design, develop, and implement innovative learning and is an expert in mobile- and technology-enhanced learning and constructionism.

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