Derek Breen began his first job, a daily paper route, back in 1980 with the intention of saving up enough money to buy his first computer. He purchased a Commodore 64 computer toward the end of sixth grade and spent most of the summer before starting junior high designing sprites, learning the Basic programming language, and coding rudimentary games.
Derek was introduced to Scratch while working as a summer instructor for ID Tech Camp at MIT in 2011. He appreciated how the software enabled younger children to quickly produce animation and simple games, but the pixelated graphics and programming limitations kept him from using it in the high school computer science classes he was teaching that fall.
Then Scratch 2.0 came along and his mind was blown by all the possibilities. The addition of vector graphics, cloning, and cloud-based variables added enough power to make it a complete multimedia-authoring platform; basically, Adobe Flash for kids.
Derek is a founding member of the Instructional Design and Interactive Education Media Association (IDIEM) and is an active member of the Scratch Educator (ScratchEd) community. Most recently, he worked as a graphic designer for the StarLogo Nova project at MIT, as a teaching fellow in Instructional Design at Harvard Extension school, and as a curriculum developer for i2 Camp.
Previously, Derek worked as a computer science teacher and educational technology specialist at Prospect Hills Academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ...