JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local students will soon be the first to try out a new computer science program making it easier for them to learn computer programming skills. Usually you need cryptic codes and complicated commands to create a computer program – not anymore.
Thanks to new technology developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology kids as young as three can create their own programs starting from scratch. Kirby Smith Middle, a technology magnet school in Duval County, will be the first to try it.
Dr. Asai Asaithambi, director at the University of North Florida School of Computing, has been working since last fall to implement the program. He says, "Kids are enamored by technology in the form of mobile phones and gaming and those kinds of things so what we're saying is hey - instead of just playing the game how you help create one.”
The new program is known for its simplicity. Students learn how to create animations through a drag and drop interface. Asaithambi says the goal is to get more students interested in a technology career, “The way in which we teach computing and technology to students is not working and so we're looking for ways which we can empower them into learning on their own without actually thinking that they are being taught."
If the pilot program goes as planned, it will be incorporated into most classes regardless of subject matter. Eventually more schools in Duval County will follow suit.