Educational Project of Belarus Hi-Tech Park and Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus

First School Teachers Trained to Teach Scratch

First School Teachers Trained to Teach Scratch

48 teachers from 15 secondary schools of Vitebsk and Grodno regions successfully completed training and will begin teaching Scratch in Orsha, Baran, Vitebsk, Vasilishki, Voronovo, Novopolotsk, Krasnoselsk, and Lida on September 1.

The training course was organized in Orsha from August 15-19 within the innovation project ”Introduction of the model for organizing extracurricular activities for secondary school students of the 1st and 2nd levels of education using Scratch.“

Andrei Zagursky, Head of the Department of Education, Sport and Tourism at the Orsha District Executive Committee:

”The new Scratch educational project has great prospects. It is interesting both to teachers and to students. Teachers will be able to improve their skills, achieve a new level of teaching, while students will develop logical thinking and learn to solve tasks creatively.“

Svetlana Khanko, an elementary school teacher and methodologist at Vasilishki Secondary School:

”Children can be divided in two categories: those who are afraid of programming, and those who fall in love with programming. When grown up, those in love with programming change the world. I want to teach my students to change the world – encourage their interest in programming!“

During the course, the teachers learn how to organize extracurricular activities using Scratch capabilities, discussed approaches to organizing elective courses in Scratch, practiced teamwork and learned basics of programming in Scratch.

”I have worked with Scratch for over 5 years already. The course gives a possibility to communicate with colleagues and exchange experience and ideas,“ comments Elena Kemstach, an Informatics teacher at Novopolotsk Gymnasium No.1. ”Judging from my experience, children of all ages like Scratch immensely. You do not need to be a techie to create projects in Scratch, children with humanitarian minds become enthusiastic about Scratch just as easily.“

The training was conducted with the support of the HTP resident-companies Game Stream, SamSolutions, and Brimit, in accordance with the program developed by the Educational Center of the Hi-Tech Park.

When welcoming the participants of the training course, HTP Deputy Director Alexander Martinkevich called attention to the social significance of the project: ”Basic computer skills are not enough in today's world. With high technology developing rapidly, we have to be able to create computer programs and know how they work to be successful. That is why programming is considered the new literacy today. That is why we need to teach children programming as early as in elementary school.“

To sum up the results of the training, we may take a look at the feedbacks of its participants:

”work within the project is going to be complicated but interesting,“ ”it is interesting, engaging and a great deal of work!“

”it will be a success as I have a lot of like-minded people“

”I have changed the idea about the significance of the project for all teachers – both Informatics and elementary school in a positive way“

”Scratch makes you engaged more and more each day“

”you have to employ networking and teamwork to succeed and achieve impressive results,“ ”I can do and will learn everything!“