Wednesday, January 23, 2008

the inner geek reminisces

Found this interesting blog post (part two here) via reddit about a guy who's teaching his daughter how to write code to make her own computer game, using a program he's been designing called Greenfoot. Pretty great stuff, especially as the daughter is 9 (in part two, his 7-year-old becomes interested and involved as well). This kind of logical creativity is exactly what kids need to develop critical thinking skills - at least I think so, anyway.

Reminds me of the various programs I use to fiddle with as a child, and learning how to navigate around DOS, before there was a Windows. There was also this great cartoon maker program we used in my elementary school's computer class, where they provided a slew of characters that you could drag onto a scene of your choice, then have them move by setting keyframes on a timeline. I forget the name of the program, it probably ran in Windows 95 or 3.1 (was there anything inbetween those two?), but it was so much fun to play with. You could make speech/thought/yelling bubbles, have inanimate objects, and the backdrops ranged from wooded forest to alien spaceship. Oh, and they even had various body parts you could add onto the character, like a Mr. Potato Head, so an angry character would have a "yelling" speech balloon and big angry eyes.

I wish I could remember the name! It wasn't the Dreamweaver storybook creator, or whatever. Something else...

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