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Hi Scratch Educators!

We're long-time Scratch proponents and collaborators (from the pre-release days) and have built a company (Modkit) around extending Scratch to additional platforms and activities including robotics and microcontrollers.

We are getting ready to test, a new text-based programing language inspired by Scratch, with 1000 early adopters and wanted to get some Scratch educators in on the discussion and testing. As most of you know, Scratch is more than just about eliminating syntax errors with graphical blocks but is as much about the simple yet powerful programming model that it exposes.  Writing code local to a "sprite" with built-in multi-tasking (more than one thing can happen at once) and the event driven "hat" blocks that describe when each stack of blocks should run are very important concepts not available in most text-based (or even blocks-based) programming environments.  Many of us have learned this the hard way when venturing outside of ScratchLand with our eager students.

We're looking to change that with text code that feels and works just like Scratch:

We think this will be useful for educators that use Scratch as a stepping stone to traditional programming languages (as Scratch is taught in a number of University courses) or for students who have mastered Scratch and may be able to benefit from exploring beyond the safe sandbox. It can also be useful to expose kids to "physical computing" and Wiring/Arduino which is the target for our very first release of the language.  In no way do we see this as a replacement for Scratch or the thoughtful syntax-error free environment it provides.  This early release is actually best in the hands of an experienced educator who has knowledge of text-based programming and/or the Wiring/Arduino platform.

In any case if you're interested, we're running a Kickstarter to gather support and get this out to early educators and users.  We have a limited number of seats to try the language for Wiring/Arduino for the minimum Kickstarter pledge of $1.  We hope to see many of you on our Kickstarter page so that we can keep Scratch educators in mind as we continue to develop this new and important language.  We think the lessons learned from Scratch are applicaple to everyone but we have a special place in our hearts for Scratchers!

Best Reagrds,
Ed Baafi
Founder: Modkit