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Authoring and programming tools

  • Public
Last updated by Suzie Vesper


Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art and then share these on the web.

As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. This tool is a great way to extend GATE students.

Squeak eToys

Another simple authoring and programming set of tools designed for younger students. From their website:

"Thinking deeply and critically occurs when students are given a chance to problem-solve on their own, when there is no right or wrong answer, and when they are given opportunities to create and build. Working in an open-ended environment like Etoys encourages thinking about ones own project development, assisting others and figuring out their programming dilemmas, as well as fostering an environment to think about ones own thinking and awareness of the process of learning."



Gamefroot makes it easy for absolutely anyone to

  • Make instantly playable games online and on iPhone (built in html 5)
  • Play games you’ve made or that others have made
  • Share your creations and favorite games with the world


GameStar Mechanic

This site is designed for 7 to 14 year olds and it allows students to build games where the focus in on the game design rather than programing. It is designed to foster critical 21st century skills such as systems thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, digital media literacies and a motivation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning: all skills that are increasingly important in a highly-networked, digital, rapidly evolving 21st century world.  See a teacher's blog post on how he used it to reinforce concepts about an environmental essay project.

Beyond their value as entertainment, digital games and game-making tools are key entry points for many young people into digital literacy, online social communities and tech-savvy identities. A game designer must be a socio-technical engineer, thinking about how people will interact with the game and how the game will shape both competitive and collaborative social interactions.