New Graphical Programming Language Introduces Kids to Computer Science

When we think of computer programming, many of us imagine lines of cryptic code interspersed with semicolons and complex syntax. This common perception about computer programming prevents people from trying to learn programming languages even though programming languages can teach important problem solving and analytical skills which can be applied to a variety of professions. Moreover, the perceived difficulty of learning to code scares away many young people who would otherwise be interested in computer science. Mitchel Resnick and some colleagues at the MIT Media Lab have set out to change these stereotypes. They have developed a new graphical computer programming language called “Scratch” that is geared towards children ages eight to sixteen. Resnick and his team hope to address the concern that while today’s youngest generation has access to a wealth of technology, they may not be digitally fluent with these technologies.

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