Community Storytelling at Scratch Conference, MIT Media Lab
In our community storytelling work, here’s a central question: how do we best tap into the stories in a community? How do we draw out stories that can live long after the event? Sometimes the stories just start flowing, especially within communities that are motivated and enthusiastic. And that describes the community of educators attending the annual Scratch Conference at MIT this summer.
In the course of two days, we gathered nearly sixty stories from educators around the world, in multiple languages. Here are the questions we asked on the Storykiosk:
- Why do you use Scratch?
- Share an inspiring experience you’ve had with Scratch
- Share a suggestion for someone new to Scratch
People were eager to share their stories — some commented that sharing their story was one of the highlights of the conference for them.
Here’s an example story:
So, what are some of the factors leading to this success? Here are a few that come to mind:
- stories were built widely into the conference, with a session focusing on #ScratchStories, and an invitation to record made during the keynote session
- the Scratch community is enthusiastic about sharing their work
- physical cards with the questions printed on them were created to distribute at the conference
- our popup format allowed us to quickly move to other locations that were busier once the conference got underway
Scratch is a programming language designed for kids, and includes a lot of built-in benefits that encourage creative thinking and sharing. Years ago, I worked with kids in the Logo computer language, a precursor that influenced the development of Scratch, and have appreciated watching the evolution of Scratch over the following years.
Here are a few more story gems: