January 14, 2011: Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series - Mitchel Resnick: "Programming for Everyone: Rethinking Literacy and Creativity for the 21st Century"

The University of Illinois at Chicago

Department of Computer Science

College of Engineering Paul M. Chung Distinguished Lecture and 2010-2011 Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Programming for Everyone: Rethinking Literacy and Creativity for the 21st Century

Mitchel Resnick
Friday, January 14, 2011
1:00 p.m., Room 1043 ERF


Nearly everyone interacts with computational media these days, but only a select few know how to program their own interactive stories, games, and animations. It's as if everyone could read but not write.

My research group at the MIT Media Lab developed Scratch in an effort to democratize digital expression, empowering everyone -- of all ages, backgrounds, and interests -- to learn to program their own interactive media projects. The Scratch website has become a vibrant online community, with nearly 700,000 registered members (mostly ages 8 to 15) sharing, discussing, and remixing one another?s Scratch projects. The collection of projects is incredibly diverse: interactive newsletters, science simulations, virtual tours, animated dance contests, interactive tutorials, and many others, all programmed with Scratch?s graphical programming blocks.

In my presentation, I will discuss our motivations and design principles in developing Scratch -- and what young people learn as they create and share Scratch projects. Programming with Scratch is more accessible, more meaningful, and more social than with traditional programming languages.

Brief Bio:

Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the Massachussets Institute of Technology, is also the Academic Head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences; the Co-Director of Center for Future Civic Media, which aims to encourage civic engagement among residents in communities in the U.S. and internationally; and the head of the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab.Throughout his academic career Dr. Resnick has explored how new technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences. Resnick's research group developed the "programmable brick" technology that inspired the LEGO MindStorms robotics kit. He co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, a worldwide network of after-school centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Recently, Resnick's group developed Scratch, an online community where children program and share interactive stories, games, and animations. Resnick earned a BA in physics at Princeton University (1978), and MS and PhD degrees in computer science at MIT (1988, 1992).

Host: Leilah Lyons

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