Oct 1, 2014 6:00 PM

App teaches kindergartners basic computer coding

Nashuatelegraph.com: Local News, State News, Business News, Sports News | Web Feeds

This computer programming app is so easy to use that even a kindergartener can do it. Researchers in Massachusetts have created a basic computer coding app that they say is the first designed specifically for children as young as 5. Kids who haven’t yet learned to read can use the app to craft their own interactive stories and games. With ScratchJr, children can snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters and other elements in their project move, jump, talk and change size. Users can modify various elements in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, and even insert their own photos. “When many people think of computer programming, they think of something very sophisticated,” says co-developer Michel Resnick of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “But we don’t think it has to be that way.” Marina Umaschi Bers, his co-developer from Tufts University, cites research that shows children start to form convictions by fourth grade about how good or bad they are in math, science and technology. “So most programs that introduce coding in fourth grade and up, it’s great, but they are coming kind of late to the party,” she says. The project was funded by a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help children learn to think creatively and reason systematically. The free app is already being used in kindergarten classrooms at the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School in Medford. “I learned to concentrate and use the imagination a lot,” 7-year-old Talia Levitt says.


--  Dealing with the Disease of Addiction? Click here for help --

More from NH1.com

NH1 News Debates
NH1 News Replay

NH1 on Twitter

NH1 SkyView Cameras

NH1 on Facebook

Check out NH1 News Rail Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome