This page was built and is maintained by a father of two
daughters. It is about our experiences with computer
programming for kids.
I have two daughters, Nicole now 11, and Michelle 5. Our experience began several years ago when I was searching for a suitable program so I could teach Nicole, then about 6, how to control computers, that is how to program, rather than just play games. I thoroughly enjoy computers myself, and when you like something, you want to share it!
The problem was in finding a programming package that was suitable. I tried Visual Basic, but that was too complex. The absolute last thing I wanted to do was to turn her off programming by giving her an adults programming package.
Then I tried a couple of versions of Logo. Logo is an old language that was originally designed for children, to teach them the concepts of computer programming and learning by experimentation. The original versions were built around the concept of programming a turtle to move around the screen, either leaving a trail or not. The whole concept was developed by Dr. Seymour Papert.
Our first attempt was with a free-ware version of Logo, however, while it demonstrated the concepts at the right level of difficulty, it could not maintain Nicole's interest because it was so ancient in its graphics capabilities. It is difficult for a kid to be proud of a few crude rectangles on a CGA screen when they are used to the sound and graphics of programs like KidPix, KidWorks and Thinking Things.
Next I found another version of Logo. I gave it a try but found that it was really an academic toy, with little value for real kids. My goal was to show Nicole that programming was a fun thing to do, not a chore to learn.
Then I got lucky. I found out about Microworlds Project Builder which is a "shrink-wrapped" commercial version of Logo that has won all sorts of awards for "Technology & Learning". Microworlds is designed for todays kids!
The rest of these pages are devoted to showing you the work that Nicole has done with this program and to fully informing you of its capabilities.
After using Microworlds for a while, I liked the program so much, that I became a dealer and can offer it for sale, right here on the web!