ScratchJr Research Project

ScratchJr is a project led by Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers and her DevTech Research Group at Tufts University and by Prof. Mitch Resnick from the Lifelong Kindergarten at the MIT Media Lab. It is funded by the National Science Foundation.

The ScratchJr project aims to develop and study the next generation of innovative technologies and curricular materials to support integrated STEM learning in early childhood education. We are developing, implementing, and evaluating a new version of the Scratch programming language, ScratchJr, designed specifically for early childhood education (K-2).

ScratchJr has three components: 1) a developmentally appropriate interface; 2) an embedded library of curricular modules with STEM, math, and literacy content to meet federal and state mandates in early childhood education; and 3) an online resource and community for early childhood educators and parents.

The learning outcomes we are targeting with ScratchJr are grouped in three areas:


Children in kindergarten through grade 2, compared to children in older grades, have many fewer powerful educational technologies available that specifically take into consideration what is developmentally appropriate in terms of interface as well as what is needed to improve educational outcomes. ScratchJr will provide such a technology.

Timeline

Phase 1 - complete!


Phase 2 - complete!


Phase 3 - in progress!


Phase 4

Publications

Flannery, L.P., Kazakoff, E.R., Bontá, P., Silverman, B., Bers, M.U., and Resnick, M. (2013). Designing ScratchJr: Support for early childhood learning through computer programming. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-10. DOI=10.1145/2485760.2485785

Kazakoff, E.R., & Bers, M.U. (2013). Designing New Technologies for Early Childhood: Results From the Initial Pilot Studies of ScratchJr. Poster presented at SRCD Society for Research in Child Development, 18- 20 April 2013, Seattle, Washington.