When I was in High School I didn’t like the computer class we had to take. I remember trying to figure out how to make a computer turtle move on my screen. How times have changed. We have some fourth graders working with the MIT designed Scratch program, as described below. Its pretty cool. . .and educational!!!
From the developers. . .That’s what we were hoping for when we set out to develop Scratch six years ago. We wanted to develop an approach to programming that would appeal to people who hadn’t previously imagined themselves as programmers. We wanted to make it easy for everyone, of all ages, backgrounds, and interests, to program their own interactive stories, games, animations, and simulations, and share their creations with one another. Since the public launch in May 2007, the Scratch Web site (http://scratch.mit.edu) has become a vibrant online community, with people sharing, discussing, and remixing one another’s projects. Scratch has been called “the YouTube of interactive media.” Each day, Scratchers from around the world upload more than 1,500 new projects to the site, with source code freely available for sharing and remixing. The site’s collection of projects is wildly diverse, including video games, interactive newsletters, science simulations, virtual tours, birthday cards, animated dance contests, and interactive tutorials, all programmed in Scratch. The core audience on the site is between the ages of eight and 16 (peaking at 12), though a sizeable group of adults participates as well. As Scratchers program and share interactive projects, they learn important mathematical and computational concepts, as well as how to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively: all essential skills for the 21st century. Indeed, our primary goal is not to prepare people for careers as professional programmers but to nurture a new generation of creative, systematic thinkers comfortable using programming to express their ideas. via Scratch: Programming for All | November 2009 | Communications of the ACM.