When you become fluent with language, it means you can write an entry in your journal or tell a joke to someone or write a letter to a friend. And it’s similar with new technologies.
With ‘Scratch,’ you create computer programs by snapping together graphical programming blocks, much like LEGO bricks, without any of the obscure syntax and punctuation of traditional programming languages. After creating an interactive ‘Scratch’ project, you can share it on the ‘Scratch’ website, just as you would share videos on YouTube.
When you learn to code, it opens up for you to learn many other things.
In my office, I have the creative things that kids have made for me over the years. The nice thing about the physical side of life is that I can have them on my shelf.
I’m pretty skeptical about a lot of the toys on the market, especially for young kids. Most of them just add these new technologies just to make more flashing lights.
Computer programming has been traditionally seen as something that is beyond most people – it’s only for a special group with technical expertise and experience. We have developed ‘Scratch’ as a new type of programming language, which is much more accessible.
I started my career as a journalist, writing about science and technology for ‘Business Week’ magazine. Then I decided to make a career shift. I went to graduate school in computer science, and I began developing educational technologies – in particular, technologies to engage children in creative learning experiences.
I never took a computer science course in college, because then it was a thing you just learned on your own.
What I like to say is that we’re trying to develop a new generation of technologies that are worthy of the next generation of kids.
With ‘Scratch,’ we want to let kids to be the creators. We want them to create interesting, dynamic things on the computer.