Making coding look easy is no mean feat - yet MIT Media Lab have managed to develop an app that will give kids as young as 5 an insight into the practice.
The Lab has recently released ScratchJr, iPad app that teaches children 5-7 how to learn how to code in a simple way. The free app came about through a collaboration between the MIT Media Lab, Playful Invention Company (PICO), and Tufts University.
Some of you might know that Scratch is a coding language which many older children already use - but it was too complex for really young kids. Now the interface is redesigned to accomodate younger children to make it simple and straight-forward to use.
"coding (or computer programming) is a new type of literacy"
The introductory programming language allows kids to create their own interactive stories and games. Users piece together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Young users can also change characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, and insert photos of themselves. After they can use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life.
When asked why they designed ScratchJr, the company says, "coding (or computer programming) is a new type of literacy. Just as writing helps you organize your thinking and express your ideas, the same is true for coding. In the past, coding was seen as too difficult for most people. But we think coding should be for everyone, just like writing."
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