Scratch - Graphics-based programming language


[years 1 to 12]

What is it? Lego for programming. With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations - and share your creations with others in the online community. Programs are constructed from graphical elements which are displayed on the screen, and can be used to animate sprites. The website (see below) has many different examples.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.

What do you need? Mac or PC computer

Where do you get it from? Download it from the website (see below)

What does it cost? Free

Who is using it? Scratch has a worldwide user base; it has procedures to share programs and support is available in many languages. More information is available from the website (see below). If anyone in the Great Southern is using Scratch, please let us know.

More information: Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided with extensive support for educational use. There is also Scratchjr, a simpler version for pre-chool children.


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Logo - Programming Language

[years 1 to 12]


What is it? "Logo is the name for a philosophy of education and a continually evolving family of programming languages that aid in its realization." Harold Abelson

Logo has a long history. It originated in the 1960s from the ideas of Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, and the subsequent work of Seymour Papert, a mathematician. Logo projects have involved mathematics, language, music, robotics, telecommunications, and science. Logo is designed to be easy to learn, but to be powerful and flexible enough to handle almost any computer-based task; it is accessible to novices, including young children, and also supports complex explorations and sophisticated projects by experienced users.

The most popular Logo environments involved a robotic "turtle" (hence "turtle graphics") that sat on the floor and could be directed to move around by typing commands at the computer but more recently computer graphics screens have been used to draw shapes, designs, and pictures. There have been many incarnations of Logo and they are still being developed. One is Scratch (see above) and another is Microworlds (link below). The software is often free, but kits for Logo-directed robots of many kinds can be purchased relatively cheaply.

What do you need? It depends what you want to achieve - check out the links below

Where do you get it from? see links below

What does it cost? $0.00+

Who is using it? Widely used throughout the world

More information: For background, try Mindstorms


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