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How Scratch and Minecraft Developers Hope to Keep Kids Coding For Life


Scratch cat

The 'Scratch cat' at MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten group area.

Credit: EdSurge

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab aim to nurture a lifelong enthusiasm for programming among young students, using the Scratch learn-to-code platform. "Too often people are positioning Scratch as a stepping stone to other things, whereas we see . . . that Scratchers keep going deeper and broader and contribute back either online or offline to other people," says Scratch developer Natalie Rusk.

Rusk says "interest-based communities" that keep children engaged and learning to code outside of school are essential to this phenomenon. She wants to foster these online communities by permitting them to pursue projects aligned with their hobbies in music, games, and the arts.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Minecraft developers are working to cultivate an open coding community for teachers and students, applying user feedback to inform their Education edition of the popular game. "Adding coding to the platform has brought people who were coding-focused, but not necessarily Minecraft-focused on to the platform," says Minecraft Education's Neal Manegold.

From EdSurge 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2017 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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