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Thinking about that, the founders of Hopscotch created an app where an eight year old can learn to program. “It teaches kids the fundamental components of programming languages, like branching logic, if/then statements, and variables,” said cofounder Jocelyn Leavitt for Readwrite blog. “The ideas kids are going to learn using Hopscotch can be used later in other languages like Ruby or Python.”
Other mission of the project is to get girls into programming early. Leavitt and Samantha John, the founders of Hopscotch, believe that exposing girls to technology early will be more likely in the near future, more girls to be interested in professions related technology.
“My daughter always thought computer programming was for boys, but she could not put down Hopscotch, and said building a game seemed fun to her too.” -Michael, father of Erin, age 12
Like the idea? The application is free and you can download it here
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Speaking about programming as a teaching tool, just after publishing this post I found a very interesting news about a project at MIT called Scratch Jr. It is aimed at children aged between 8 and 13 years and since 2007 has been used to create over 2.2 million animations, games, music, videos and stories. See the full story on Spotlight.
As a programmer who started experimenting with code at a young age, and the parent of a two year old, this app is hopefully just the beginning of using programming as a teaching tool for young children.