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Comment My 9 and 12 year have tried some languages (Score 2) 510

My kids don't mind programming. They both used Alice http://alice.org/ and were meh about it and didn't go back (about two years ago).

They both like Scratch http://scratch.mit.edu and the 12 year old has moved on to building his own blocks in the Squeak interface underneath it -- so as a starter language I think it has done exactly what we'd like it to do. He's now looking forward to learning python, probably using the media computation materials from Guzdial/Ericson.

The 9 year old actually prefers Microsoft's Kodu http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/kodu/.

I'm thinking about working them through some of the material at Bootstrap http://www.bootstrapworld.org/ which is teachScheme for kids.

Comment Re:OLPC will stand or fall on the XO laptop itself (Score 2, Interesting) 338

I participated in the give-one-get-one program and got one of these for my kids (6 and 8). I literally pulled it out of the box, put in the batteries, showed them where to plug in the power cord, and have not touched it since. Two days after getting it, my six year old had written multiple stories and was browsing the web easily enough that I'll need to think about watching where they go browsing. She'd also figured out how to use the microphone and the camera software and was using them somewhat ... creatively (you need to think like a 6-year old...).

Based on this, I'd say the interface is pretty good. They're still getting used to the transactions for pulling up the stories they've written, but other than that it's been very smooth.

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