Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scratch: Educational Programming from MIT

As my son (5) was playing on the computer (changing screen savers and other settings), I realized he was a little bored with this "computer thing". He wasn't able to be creative the way kids like to be creative on a restrictive desktop. I started looking around for some simple programming languages that would teach programming concepts and provide an outlet for his digital creativity when I stumbled upon Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu).

I was so taken by Scratch that I downloaded it for myself and found myself playing with it and designing my own project. It took me a total of about 5 minutes before he understood enough to get to work on his own project.

If you have a child that likes to play on a computer, this is a great tool and I believe will help them be ahead of their other classmates in all of the subjects that are discretely hidden in Scratch. Even if you're like me (not a programmer), you will probably enjoy playing around with it. Also, it could be a great tool to teach an adult that is curious about programming and doesn't want to take a bunch of Java classes just to see what it's all about.

They have installers for Windows, MAC, and Ubuntu. There is even a projects page on the Scratch website that allows you to upload your projects.

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