Monday, September 20, 2010
Free Programming Lessons
I recently found a terrific website for my son to play around with.
It's - scratch.mit.edu.
Even after a few glances I wasn't initially sure what it was all about.
Here's the deal - it's a tiny program you have to download that allows kids to make their own interactive little animations.
For example, my son's first one was a cat that moved 10 steps, stopped, played a drum sound, and then walked back 10 steps.
Essentially Scratch introduces kids to the fundamentals (parameters, loops, etc.) of computer programming but does so with drag-and-drop commands and whatnot.
So far my son really loves it and, the good part is he's been using it all on his own. Today he was ecstatic to discover how to record his own voice (and his sister's) and incorporate that in his animations.
On the website, kids share their completed projects (ideas!) with one another. If you go to the site you can test-play one and see for yourself.
Much thanks to the geeks at MIT who built this!
(Though I'm sure *tax dollars* were collaborating authors in one way or another...)