Scratch


App Review – Scratch

Threat Level – Very Low


Scratch is an app and website that encourages kids to become involved in the art of coding. Coding as in programming computer applications both PC and mobile driven. I wish this had been available 25 years ago when I was growing up. You can imagine this as being digital Legos where you can let your child use their imagination to develop programs. Seems like an excellent idea. Let’s learn some code!


Scratch is actual the name of the programming language associated with this computer programming and also has an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as animation, games and stories with people from all over the world. Scratch is available on IOS and Android and costs 99 cents. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively and build applications with their digital toolbox. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.
Scratch is aimed for ages 8-16 years olds and is marketed for them, but also encourages parents to become involved with their children. It is an educational app that is geared to get children motivated about computer programming and developing different types of apps. Scratch also has a very interactive website that shows other programs developed by people using Scratch. 


There is a social connection inside the app when it comes to sharing information or ideas on apps users are trying to develop. When participating in the Scratch online community, members can explore and experiment in an open learning community with other Scratch members from all ages and interests. Members can share their work, get feedback, and learn from each other. While I created my user profile and searched through different social communications from website, I didn’t see any inappropriate comments or issues that I felt would be potentially dangerous for our children. All the comments, questions and interactions seemed to be strictly about the scratch development. 

The MIT Scratch Team works with the community to maintain a friendly and respectful environment for people of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities. You can help your child learn how to participate by reviewing the community rules as well. Members are asked to comment constructively and to help keep the website friendly by reporting any content that does not follow the community guidelines. You can tell they take great pride in keeping their material clean. The Scratch Team works to manage activity on the site and respond to reports, with the help of tools such as profanity filters as well. This is a very nice addition for app safety for children. 

I was very impressed with the effort they have put into their community to keep it clean. Scratch also offers an offline community if you don’t wish to get involved in the social side of communication within the app. It is obvious Scratch developers are trying really hard to keep their project as an educational tool and is very impressive. I wish all apps took precautions that I see with Scratch and its development team on their approach to online safety. 

-App description – cat, kitty, cat app, cat pic, brown cat, orange cat

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