Script Changers

Script Changers: Digital Storytelling with Scratch

Kylie Peppler
Rafi Santo
Melissa Gresalfi
Katie Salen Tekinbaş
foreword by Linda Booth Sweeney
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 352
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qfb0v
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  • Book Info
    Script Changers
    Book Description:

    Script Changersshows the ways that stories offer a lens for seeing the world as a series of systems. It provides opportunities for students to create interactive and animated stories about creating positive change in their communities. These projects utilize the Scratch visual programming environment.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-31998-0
    Subjects: Education, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. SERIES FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)

    In recent years, digital media and networks have become embedded in our everyday lives and are part of broad-based changes to how we engage in knowledge production, communication, and creative expression. Unlike the early years in the development of computers and computer-based media, digital media are nowcommonplaceandpervasive, having been taken up by a wide range of individuals and institutions in all walks of life. Digital media have escaped the boundaries of professional and formal practice, and of the academic, governmental, and industry homes that initially fostered their development. Now they have been taken up by diverse populations...

  4. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-xii)

    Over forty years ago, Buckminster Fuller—architect, designer, engineer, scientist, cartographer, inventor, educator, and poet—popularized the termsynergy. “Bucky” reminded packed audiences around the world that synergy was “… the only word in our language that meansbehavior of whole systems unpredicted by the separately observed behaviors of any of the system’s separate parts or any subassembly of the system’s parts. There is nothing in the chemistry of a toenail that predicts the existence of a human being” (Fuller,Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1969, p. 78).

    Looking back at myself as a student forty years ago, my curriculum...

  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND PROJECT HISTORY
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  6. SYSTEMS THINKING CONCEPTS IN THIS BOOK COLLECTION
    (pp. xxi-xxvi)
  7. ALIGNMENT TO COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS (CCSS)
    (pp. xxvii-xxxiv)
  8. NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)
    (pp. xxxv-xxxviii)
  9. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-16)

    Few would argue with the idea that the world is growing more complex as the twenty-first century unfolds. We live in a time that not only requires us to work across disciplines to solve problems, but also one in which these problems are of unprecedented scale, coming from a world that is more interconnected than ever. In such a context, power rests in the hands of those who understand the nature of the interdependent systems that organize the world, and, more important, can identify where to act or how to intervene in order to change those systems. Effective intervention requires...

  10. TOOLKIT
    (pp. 17-50)

    In this chapter, we offer an explanation of why designing using Scratch is a useful way to help youths learn about systems. We then present an introduction to the platform, Scratch (scratch.mit.edu/), upon which the systems thinking and digital storytelling Design Challenges in this curriculum are based.

    Throughout, we encourage instructors to follow thespiritrather than the letter of what we include in these Design Challenges. Every learning environment is different: a classroom is not a library space, nor an after-school program. Every group of youths is different: tweens are not teens, kids who grew up in a city...

  11. DESIGN CHALLENGES OVERVIEW
    (pp. 51-54)

    The goal of this challenge is to briefly orient youths to the idea of systems thinking, the Scratch platform, and how the two will be utilized in the coming challenges to help youths create digital stories about their communities. Youths first engage in an embodied simulation of a paper airplane supply chain—an experience they use to understand some of the basic ideas and language of complex systems. They then consider how community issues might be understood from a systems perspective through briefly looking at the dynamics contributing to homelessness. In the second half of the challenge, the group is...

  12. DESIGN CHALLENGE 1: GETTING ORIENTED: SCRATCH, SYSTEMS THINKING, AND COMMUNITY-BASED DIGITAL STORYTELLING
    (pp. 55-90)

    The goal of this challenge is to briefly orient youths to the idea of systems thinking, the Scratch platform, and how the two will be utilized in the coming challenges to help youths create digital stories about their communities. Youths first engage in an embodied simulation of a paper airplane supply chain—an experience they use to understand some of the basic ideas and language of complex systems. They then consider how community issues might be understood from a systems perspective through briefly looking at the dynamics contributing to homelessness. In the second half of the challenge, the group members...

  13. USING STORIES TO EXAMINE SYSTEMS
    (pp. 91-94)

    The activities we share in this book all focus on using existing children’s stories and the medium of digital storytelling as lenses through which kids can come to describe, understand, design, and intervene within systems. But whystoriesandstorytelling? There are a number of established ways to engage kids in systems thinking, including mathematical modeling, simulations, and interactive group activities, among others. Stories and storytelling, though, have many unique features that make them effective platforms for exploring systems.

    In the introduction to her book about systems thinking and children’s stories,When a Butterfly Sneezes, Linda Booth Sweeney quotes scientist...

  14. DESIGN CHALLENGE 2: SYSTEMS, SYSTEMS EVERYWHERE! DIVING INTO SYSTEMS
    (pp. 95-116)

    Youths will be introduced to systems thinking concepts through a mini-documentary,The Story of Electronics, learning how these concepts relate to communities in general and to their own community specifically. They will then develop a Scratch project that shows a particular function their community performs and the various elements that work together to achieve the goals of that function.

    Youths will create a Scratch project that explores how onefunctionof their community is carried out, illustrating how variouselementsof the community areinterconnectedin ways that help to achieve thegoalof that function, or possibly in ways...

  15. DESIGN CHALLENGE 3: IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE: THINKING BELOW THE WATERLINE … AND ACROSS THE TABLE
    (pp. 117-142)

    This challenge explores howshifts in perspectivecan help us better understand the systems in our world. Learning to understand multiple perspectives—mental models—from various stakeholders is a key habit of a systems thinker. We call this practice “thinking across the table.” Youths learn about these by reading the children’s novelA River Ran Wild, comparing the perspectives present in a commercial for bottled water versus the mini-documentaryThe Story of Bottled Water, and then by role-playing various stakeholders involved in an issue in their community. By reading the children’s bookZoomthey look at a system through multiple...

  16. INTRODUCTION AND TOOLS FOR THE ADVANCED DESIGN CHALLENGES
    (pp. 143-154)

    Up to this point, your youths have gone through activities that help them get a handle on Scratch as a storytelling tool (Design Challenge 1), understand the basic concepts associated with systems thinking (Design Challenge 2), and take on some of the habits of mind associated with systems thinkers (Design Challenge 3). In the second half of the design challenges, youths dive more deeply into the process of understandingsystems dynamics, that is, how systems change over time and the sorts of patterns that involves. To help them in this complex process, we introduce a new set of analytic tools...

  17. DESIGN CHALLENGE 4: OUT OF CONTROL: REINFORCING FEEDBACK
    (pp. 155-188)

    Reinforcing feedback loops, which often have a “runaway” quality to them, can often be an integral part of complex systems. In this challenge, youths will return to the core issue introduced in Design Challenge 1—homelessness—to start to try to understand its patterns and why it is such a persistent problem that is so challenging to permanently resolve. In particular, they will look for reinforcing patterns that make homelessness a cycle—a reinforcing feedback loop. In order to better understand the idea of reinforcing feedback, youths will explore this core system dynamic through discussion ofThe Butter Battle Book....

  18. DESIGN CHALLENGE 5: OUT OF BALANCE: BALANCING FEEDBACK AND LEVERAGE POINTS
    (pp. 189-206)

    In contrast to reinforcing feedback loops, balancing feedback loops are processes that bring systems under control and into balance. In Design Challenge 5, youths once again examine the issue of homelessness to further their understanding of balancing feedback and are introduced to the idea of identifying leverage points by reading a children’s short story, “The Sneetches.” In the final activity youths consider how they might effect maximal change by identifying leverage points in the systems surrounding the issue of homelessness.

    Youths analyze and create connection circle diagrams to identify potential leverage points in the context of homelessness (or another topical...

  19. DESIGN CHALLENGE 6: MAKE A CHANGE! LEVERAGE POINTS AND UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
    (pp. 207-240)

    Understanding the idea ofleverage points—places where a small change can make a big impact—is critical in order to make effective changes to systems. In this challenge youths explore this concept, as well as the related idea ofunintended consequences, by reading one more children’s novel,The Lorax, and identifying possible leverage points in the system of that story. This prepares youths for the final design activity, a Scratch project that depicts using leverage points to make a positive change to a systemic issue in their community.

    Youths design and create a Scratch project that depicts how they...

  20. DELVING DEEPER INTO SYSTEMS THINKING
    (pp. 241-254)

    So what is systems thinking, and why is it important? With so little time to cover what seems like so much, why should systems thinking get a seat at the educational table? We find the answer in part by looking at the vast problems in the world around us, which range from environmental degradation to global financial meltdowns, growing inequality to ballooning costs of health care, and so many more issues. At their core, these difficulties are about systems, and all can be linked fundamentally to perspective: people have a tendency to look at things in terms of isolated parts...

  21. Appendix A: GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS
    (pp. 255-264)
  22. Appendix B: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
    (pp. 265-268)
  23. Appendix C: SCRIPT CHANGERS ASSESSMENT
    (pp. 269-272)
  24. Appendix D: SYSTEMS THINKING CONCEPT CARDS: SCRIPT CHANGERS
    (pp. 273-282)
  25. Appendix E: SCRIPT CHANGERS CHALLENGE CARDS
    (pp. 283-306)
  26. REFERENCES
    (pp. 307-308)
  27. INDEX
    (pp. 309-312)