MIT, Microsoft and kids programming

My 10 year old son’s having great fun with MIT’s Scratch: a programming language for kids. Download it and play here. The Scratch motto is “imagine, program, share”, and the Scratch web page is dominated by projects...

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My 10 year old son’s having great fun with MIT’s Scratch: a programming language for kids. Download it and play here. The Scratch motto is “imagine, program, share”, and the Scratch web page is dominated by projects uploaded by keen scratchers.

The Scratch copyright policy explains why sharing and remixing is a good idea, and adopts the Creative Commons attribution share alike licence (CC-BY-SA) with a neat explanation of how it works.

I’m delighted to say that Micrsoft’s Kodu project, also aimed at children, adopts a similar policy. www.planetkodu.com emphasizes sharing and facilitates uploading and downloading projects. The Kodu copyright policy specifies Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA) .

Kodu’s home page also links to Scratch as the first “projects we like” link. Kudos to Kodu! We teach our children “sharing is good”. It’s great to see this message being reinforced, with sharing and collaboration presented as the normal way to develop software.

It’s also good to see youngsters being exposed to creative commons licences. I haven’t dug very deeply into Kodu yet (I’ll certainly be suggesting my son tries it out).

I’d be interested in hearing of any experiences with either Scratch or Kodu, whether legal/licensing or just in terms of how good they are as programming environments.

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