Some time ago I was reading Marc Prensky's article Programming: the new literacy. I saw about a free downloadable program called Scratch. I looked at the web site, downloaded the program and have only now had time to look at it. It is a brilliant program for primary schools (and secondary schools)! What do students learn while working with Scratch?
I have other work to do but have been having great fun playing around with this instead! I can certainly see this being used in an authentic and meaningful way in the classroom. The program is very like some I have seen to buy.
Scratch is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Intel Foundation, and MIT Media Lab research consortia.