Scratch BlockArt



Shruti Dhariwal


Scratch BlockArt is an experimental visualization tool designed to let children discover their own computational patterns on Scratch. Existing methods often utilize data about the types of programming blocks used in children’s projects to generate a quantitative assessment of a project’s computational complexity based on limited criteria. BlockArt presents an alternative approach for revealing this data to young creators themselves. Rather than datafying children’s creations, BlockArt is designed to transform the data about their code into creative objects that can spark children's curiosity and enable them to reflect on their own styles and choices. 

For a given username, the tool dynamically generates colorful visualizations representing the number and diversity of programming blocks used in each of their shared projects over time. Children can also click to see the project behind the visualization. The idea is not to evaluate whether they use more or less 'complex' blocks, but to reveal how the types of blocks children use are based on their motivations and interests behind creating a specific project. It also shows how looking at the diversity of code in all their projects is a better representation of their learning trajectory than providing a quantitative assessment on individual projects without additional context.