1. Get the support of your building-level
leadership. Let them know what you
are planning. Emphasize that this is
new and exciting for everyone involved.
2. Outline the parameters of your competition.
What ages are eligible to compete? Will you
award any prizes? How will you assess the
project? Will you have judges? A rubric? What
is the topic or theme? What standards would
you like to address? Make sure that the rules
are easy for potential participants to access
and understand. If you use a backward design process, your expectations will become
clearer to both you and your students.
3. Come up with a time frame. We suggest
that you allot at least a quarter, but preferably a semester or more, for students to
complete their projects. Give them class
Create Your Own Online Competition
Signing your students up for outside online competitions is an easy way to get them involved and
inspired. But you can also take it a step further by starting your own competition. All you need are
a collaborative online community, leadership support, time, and transparency to make it happen.
Here are seven steps to creating your own competition:
time, but a goal is for them to get so in-
vested in their projects that they want to
work on them at home or in an after-school
club as well.
4. Decide on an online community or space
to showcase the projects to each other
and the world. Depending on your fire-wall limits and the type of competition,
you might use Wikispaces, Facebook, or
Google+. The Scratch website is perfect
for programming projects. Visit the Scratch
Help page ( scratch.mit.edu/help). See what
other educators are doing and get support
on ScratchEd ( scratched.media.mit.edu).
5. If you decide to use Scratch, create a
Studio (gallery) and begin advertising
on the website. Market your competition.
You don’t want it to be limited to just
your students. Advertise to Scratchers,
teachers, and other students in your
school and district. Get ideas and learn
how to promote on the Scratch Discuss
page ( scratch.mit.edu/discuss). Post on
the “New Scratchers” forum and encour-
age your students to do the same to be-
come enculturated into the community.
6. Reach out to the online community for
feedback. Using the audience is key to
producing high-quality projects. As your
students begin working on their projects,
require them to test other projects, post
comments, and be open to feedback from
others. You are teaching them how to
interact appropriately as well as how to
be part of the wisdom of the crowd. If you
are using the Scratch website, refer to the
FAQs ( scratch.mit.edu/help/faq) and the
community guidelines ( scratch.mit.edu/
7. Have fun! Your students will, so why
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