Getting Started with Scratch

Creating an Account

As Scratch is web-based, the first step is to create an account with your email address. This should be an email address that you use regularly, as your Scratch username will be connected to it for any recovery or maintenance purposes.

  1. Navigate to the Scratch website: http://scratch.mit.edu
  2. Create an account by clicking Join Scratch. Register with your email address. Scratch Sign Up 1
  3. Choose your username and password and click Next. Follow the remaining steps to create your account. Scratch Create Username

The Scratch Dashboard

The next step after creating your account is to become familiar with the Scratch dashboard. When you’re logged in, you’ll notice your username appears in the top right corner.
[box type=”note”]It’s good practice to encourage youth to sign out of their session once they’re done, otherwise anyone else using the computer will be able to access their account.[/box]
Scratch Main Dashboard
The dashboard has lots of useful information, such as:

  • The username you’re logged in with
  • A “What’s Happening” recent activity feed which displays updates or publications by anyone you’re followingAny “Scratch News” updates
  • A snapshot of “Featured Projects” curated by Scratch staff
  • Quick access to your personal Studios

Tip: Having all of your youth follow your account (and you following them) is a great way to keep track of their progress updates since their activity will then display in your dashboard feed.

The User Profile Dashboard

Your user profile dashboard displays different information than the general Scratch dashboard. When logged in, click on your username and then select Profile from the dropdown menu to bring up the user profile dashboard:
Scratch User Account Dashboard

This dashboard displays the following information:

  • An “About Me” section where you can add a description of yourself and what you’re currently working on
  • Your currently “Featured Project”
  • Your personal activity feed
  • All of your “Shared Projects” and your “Favorite Projects”
  • Studio information, such as studios you’ve created and ones you’ve followed
  • Follower information. This is a useful method of accessing the profile pages for all the youth you work with provided that they followed you.

Navigating Scratch

Before creating your first project, take some time to become familiar with navigating the Scratch main interface. In addition to all the above information, the main dashboard is where you’ll go to create projects, explore Scratch’s resources, participate in forum discussion, and access helpful guides.

Here is an annotated image of the main menu on the Scratch dashboard:
Navigating Scratch

  1. Scratch: Takes you back to the main dashboard if you’ve navigated away from it.
  2. Create: Creates a new project. You’ll use this and the main dashboard the most.
  3. Explore: Lets you explore projects and studios created by Scratchers. You can sort the projects by several categories and date.
  4. Discuss: Opens up the Scratch forums.
  5. About: Contains useful information about Scratch as well as resource links.
  6. Help: Contains official resources and guides developed by the Scratch community. One very useful link here is the Scratch Wiki.
  7. Notifications: This is where you’ll receive notifications for any messages or comments/activity on your projects. This is also where you can access your messages.

Related Posts