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Scratch in the country side of Tunisia

Sunday, the 20th of January 2013. I went to the middle school of Oum Heni. I know already that they have very low digital culture. For most of them, the ICT weekly hour is the only time to deal with a computer. Half of them have PC at home but without Internet access. I started by welcoming them and introducing the reason of coming by a video: Welcome to Scratch day! and I said that by coming to this club, you are now part of a huge community. You can't see it for now. But it does exist. After that, I showed them the scratch presentation video. They liked it. and they understood what is scratch about. Later, I showed them a video about what the other pupils around the world are doing. Videos were in English so I was translating in Arabic. They were so excited. So, they opened Scratch and start exploring and testing the interface. Our first example were a small one in the presentation video of Scratch. It is a kind of "Hello World" programme. Welcome to the programming world! Later, I said that It was not me the teacher. And you will learn Scratch by your self and from other kids from somewhere. I showed them the video Tutorial of "Rainbow Fish" in Scratch website. The video was in English and they were using the French Interface. It was definitely the best moment for me as a teacher, a pleasure that only real teacher could feel it. They were so concentrated!! I stopped translating. And I was asking about the translation in French of the blocks and some words. So nice, they were understanding even it is their first year of learning English!! In Tunisia, French is the second language. English is tough from the 7th grade. I did not moved from my place and I did not show any thing. I was only manipulating the video. And they have to be in the same level. Who don't know ask the person who knows and small groups were formed after each step. When everybody finished the step, they were happy to ask me to move to the next step! After the example, they were really excited and more and more communicative with me. Should we stop here?? No ... No ... No ... they cried in the same time!!! I gave them one more time a free exploration time. And I said: I have a mission for you. You will not make video games for me, but for some persons around the world. Some thing that you like, but related to the topic of the mission. So I showed them them the video of a couple of friends (Tunisian and Polish). The mission is to make a video game to their small kid Amir. and I said that I was responsible to send the job to them. I said that the couple is very nice and they are also excited to see what you will do. For more expertise, we started making the "hunted house" video tutorial. And we stopped in the middle because time was over. So nice pleasure!!! Hope that you also having the same pleasure to teach scratch. Take a look to this video that shows some part of the day. Sorry for the quality, I am using a very basic camera. I will be very very happy if you have any idea of collaboration, a common project. Please, don't hesitate to contact me!
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 Assalaamu alaikum, Adel.  My name is Megan Haddadi, and I am a technology teacher in the United States.  I loved reading your ScratchEd article and watching the video.  I am currently teaching my 6th grade students how to use the Scratch porgramming language so they can create Internet Safety projects for younger students.  Perhaps we could collaborate on a project, or maybe my students could create projects for your students and vice versa.  Let's get in touch!

-Megan Haddadi

mhaddadi@bbns.org

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