Hopscotch – programming on the iPad for kids

Hopscotch iPad App

Hopscotch is a new programming language/environment iPad for kids. I don’t have my iPad here right now, but I’m looking forward to having a go on this. It is probably too advanced for my four year-old daughter still (I’ll have to see how necessary being able to read or write is), but it looks perfect for school-age children. The quote from a child on the website sums it up nicely:

“I like it because it’s fun and you can make the characters do whatever you want and play it like a movie.” – Audrey, age 8

You can make interactive things too, I’m sure.

(Via Jeroen)

Nodebox

nodebox.jpg

Nodebox is a programming and visualisation tool using Python. Like Processing it allows you to product animations, still, interactives as well as exporting to Illustrator SVG files and PDF. It is for Mac OS X only and leverages Core Image.

I’m sure someone mentioned this to me ages ago and I’ve just forgotten about it. It looks quite promising, though very similar to Processing albeit it somewhat simpler at present. The good thing about it, for me, is that I’ve always felt Python was pretty close to Director’s Lingo, which was the first scripting environment I properly learned (not including some BASIC on the ZXSpectrum and BBC Micro).

Like Processing, Nodebox is free and open-source and has a bunch of libraries for it (including one for the Wiimote, which should make physical interaction prototypes fairly easy to knock together) and sounds like it might be useful for teaching interaction design projects though.

If anyone has used it, let me know how and on what. I’m interested to see where it might be put to use.

Programming for children

scratch.jpg

Following on from my post and Nigel’s comments about Clicktoy, I just found Scratch, which is a simple multimedia authoring environment for children. It looks like it outputs to java applets as a playback format.

The team is led by Mitch Resnick at MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten, which would frankly be my dream academic post.

Scratch is free to download and is for Windows and OS X.

[tags]games, programming, multimedia, children, MIT, Scratch[/tags]