Scratch conference Europe

On the 23the of August, Scratchers all over the world assembled for the International Scratch conference Europe in Cambridge. Three days of talks, workshops and inspirational key notes filled the agenda. CoderDojo Belgium was there to report to you the newest and coolest from Scratch land.

Scratch coaches from all over the world gathered at Cambridge University’s Churchill College to see how Mitch Resnick kicked off the conference with an inspirational talk about the deeper meaning of Scratch. Mitch Resnick is the spiritual father of Scratch and was kind of a celebrity during this conference (with people chasing him for selfies and all). Watch his talk here:

What followed was a buffet of interesting workshops. We can’t talk to you about all of them because well… we couldn’t attend all of them at the same time. Here’s just a short overview of some of the most interesting workshops:

Translating in Scratch:

One of the many cool new features of Scratch 3 is how easy it is to add extensions. While most of you have probably discovered the Micro:bit, Lego Mindstorm or video extensions, the translate extension remains a bit overlooked. In a multilingual country like Belgium, this feature however is really worth a try. Especially when combined with the text to speech extension, the translation tool contains the potential for some really cool projects. You’ll notice the translator is linked to Google translate, yet there are a few languages missing from the list. It wouldn’t be Scratch if somebody hadn't come up with a cunning workaround. Just add an extra variabele with the desired language (note that it should be a language that is present in the current Google translate library). Set your variabele to your desired language as seen below and you’re good to go!

Just imagine all the cool projects kids could create with this. Never again will they have to think of a method to learn their vocabulary in French, English or even Latin!

Scratch Go

This is brand new! Scratch is working on a tool to connect Scratch with the physical world. The idea is that you can attach the Scratch Go to whatever you want to attach it. It has motion sensors, light sensors, a big orange button in the middle and a little green one to simulate the green flag. This enables kids to turn everything into a controller for their games.
Its key assets would be that it is robust and has a long battery life expectancy (it automatically turns of when not connected) making it the ideal tool for young coders. The Scratch Go will be entirely programmable via Scratch and uses a Bluetooth connection to connect to your computer.
We don’t expect it to be in shops very soon but it is certainly something to look forward to. 

Scratch AI

Big news from the land of the rising sun! Google Japan is working on an extension to introduce artificial intelligence in Scratch. They aren’t really there yet but what they are working on now is a feature that would allow the programmer to teach the computer how to recognize objects by using the camera. Some might think it sounds a bit scary, others think it’s the future of Scratch! Decide for yourself!

That’s all for this short overview of the Scratch conference. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact or and we will gladly tell you more.

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