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[personal profile] treecat
Scratch a free programming language from MIT.  Made for kids from about 8 years and up.

You can import your own pictures and sounds to it
The programming is all drag and drop.  I think ultimately people should be able to write code from a keyboard, but I see value and FUN in this as a gentle introductory way to get people used to some of the programming concepts before they have to worry about syntax and in just a few minutes you can make things move around, interact, talk.

You can share it with others by posting it to the mit website and sending a link to it. Then most people will be able to play it in their browsers.

download it here
intro page:
examples posted (made by presenter at code camp who teaches this to kids)

I haven't made anything yet, but in the presentation he was making a bee fly around and say 'hooray' (in a talk ballon) when it encountered some pollen (bee was clipart, pollen he drew as 3 dots together in the program) and then he added a recording of a kid from the class buzzing.

It's sort of fun to see how the blocks of code snap together and you can't make syntax errors :) with it.

He also showed us Alice... cool name, and 3-d graphics, but Scratch excites me more and is more easily shared. To share Alice the person you're sharing with has to have it also.

I really think anyone with kids who can read well enough to figure out what the actions say should introduce them to this.


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July 2012


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