Parents with programming experience often ask if Scratch is the best way for their children to learn how to program. They say “when I was 12 I learned BASIC, why not start with something harder?” Or “can they really learn the fundamental concepts in a drag-and-drop programming environment?” Yes, although it may be hard to believe, there have been recent improvements in how young students learn programming. Now they can create actual programs, including games, almost immediately, and still learn important programming concepts.
It’s not just kids that use Scratch as their first programming language. College students and adults use it as well. In fact, Harvard’s introductory programming class even uses Scratch for part of the course. Here is the full lecture exhibiting the impressive capabilities of Scratch (Scratch begins at minute 26):
Technologists are likely to first resist drag-and-drop programming like Scratch. San Francisco High School computer science teacher Ben Chun was one of them before finally deciding to use it for his introductory course. Here are a series of short videos explaining why he started using Scratch.