Teaching Preschoolers to Program Before They Can Read


New Scientist:

Lorna and her classmates, who range in age from 4 to 7, are taking part in a pilot study here at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, to see how young children respond to ScratchJr, a spin-off of the Scratch programming language. Scratch was invented to teach students as young as 8 how to program using graphical blocks instead of text. Now even children who haven’t yet learned to read or write are getting in on the act.

Tools like Scratch aim to address what their developers see as a lack of computer programming instruction in schools today. The general thinking is that
children are growing up surrounded by powerful machines they do not understand and teaching needs to be overhauled to prepare today’s youth for a future living and working closely with computers

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