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Open Source for kids?

Ever since school days, I was taught that a good start in programming is a way to become a good software developer. Today, the college students desire to learn programming languages which are easy to implement and has a good portability across various platforms. Something which Java started off. The recent past has witnessed the development of open source programming languages, software, applications and other utilities that are geared towards the younger minds. What can fascinate these fresh minds include games, animations and the new environment of programming languages. When the minds are young and malleable, they can really pick up things fast. An open source environment teaches newbies how to interact with the new world of open and collaborative development.


Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy for the kids to create their own animations, games, music and art and share them on the web. Here, all the uploaded programs are open source. Scratch is designed to help young people to learn important mathematical and computational ideas, at the same time gain a deeper understanding of the design process. At the same time, it teaches programming fundamentals in the form of 3-D movies and games. Alice, one of the oldest and most developed environments is used in most of the schools for teaching programming to the children as a part of their education

Another open source toolkit is Shoes which is quite similar to the traditional method of programming. It is user-friendly and children find it easy and familiar as it requires just a basic text editor to make programs. Children may pick up the basics of programming pretty fast as it is easy to follow instructions and tutorial.

It is a proven fact that children are happy to sit down and play with a computer as long as the software titles provided are engaging and fun. Having this kind of software packaged and multitude of programming environment would really be great. At the moment, aspiring programmers often learn through sources that favor proprietary software and closed development methods. If a free software operating system (a Linux distro) could encourage people with an open source environment, things could get pretty different. These programming environments with tutorials should get you up and running quickly with a powerful programming language.

Edubuntu is another such program, based on the Ubuntu Linux operating system and aimed primarily at children in educational environments. According to the distribution homepage, Edubuntu is “Linux for Young Human Beings”. It has its unique ways that encompasses the total learning process. There is load out there for you to evaluate and install for your kids as they grow out of the programs they are currently enjoying.

Open source programming languages really shine in the way it lets kids learn about programming in a less complex process. This actually reflects that open source software aren’t theoretical but - are able to compare for themselves how well it stacks up against the other OS available in our homes. These applications contain numerous games which are a clever collection and appeals the kids. Apart from the games, they contain certain other tools that keep the kids organized. These different Open Source versions strike the right balance between helping them learn the basics and teaching them ways to achieve great things. So the case is not “Is Open Source ready for kids?” but rather “Why not Open Source for kids?” as this would make programming easy and approachable for little sweethearts.

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