MIT Makes Programming Child's Play

Computer science goes kid-friendly with a new language, Scratch
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2007 5:36 PM CDT
MIT Makes Programming Child's Play
'   (Magnum Photos)

(Newser) – The latest programming language to come out of MIT's cutting-edge labs has an unusual audience: sixth-graders. “Scratch” replaces the technobabble of Java and C++ with simplified, jigsaw-shaped pieces of code, which budding programmers can arrange into customized sequences. A test group of 12-year-olds in Massachusetts is already at work designing programs in the new language.

A social-networking site then hosts kid-to-kid critiques of the finished products, from a flying snowman to a virtual police chase. The process, the researchers say, helps build skills textbooks don’t. "Creative thinking is more important than ever before," says the director of the Scratch project. "Just learning a fixed set of facts in school isn't going to be enough." (Read more computer stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.