(via Google is making a toy system that teaches kids how to code – The Verge)

an announcement two years ago from Google that I forgot to share. I wonder where this project is now. It was coincident with Apple introducing Swift Playgrounds for iOS, it’s “hour of code”-like, gentle, teaching environment for the Swift programming language. Last year Google and the Scratch Foundation announced a partnership whereby the Javascript-based App Inventor would adopt “grammars” (UI and UX) evolved by Scratch. This last development affords the possibility of authoring industrial strength programs with a — virtual — block-based programming “language”. I have to put “language” in quotations because the “grammars” are visual and semiotic, but not quite linguistic. 

I wonder if we need a better coinage. I suspect that Mitchell Resnick is willing to explore a “programming grammar” which carries a different semantic nuance than “programming composition” which would resonate with the vocabulary of the visual field. Scratch is a block-based visual programming language.


March 23, 2018