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MIT Media Lab Trains Tiny Computer Programmers


Apps and programs that introduce kids to computer programming aren’t new. What is new about MIT Media Lab’s app., called ScratchJunior, is that it is geared or children as young as 5 and teaches them the basics of algorithmic and computing language earlier than ever. The app, developed by MIT Media Lab with funding from former hedge fund manager and science investor Jeffrey Epstein.

Michael Resnick is head of the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group which develops computer education or children. The existing programs were or older children, so Marina Bers of Tufts University, helped innovate an app to fit the cognitive and communication skills of the youngest computer programmers. The app was inspired by Resnick’s Computer Clubhouse Project which holds after school programs for low-income kids to learn computer skills in a fun, interactive setting. The project, partly funded by Intel, has expanded into 20 countries and teaches more than 20, 000 students a year.

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