Every day Google's homepage prominently displays a special drawing or animation, and on Monday it's a miniature game that instructs you to guide a bunny around a maze by dragging and dropping directional movements in the proper order. It seems whimsical, but it's not just a simple game has meaning -- in fact it's meant as an ode to efforts to teach children how to code.
More specifically, it acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the development of the educational programming language Logo. The bunny game relies on Scratch, a children's programming language that was developed in the early 2000s at the Massachusetts Insitutute of Technology's Media Lab. More recently, Apple, Google and Microsoft have all come up with tools to help children think in a way that's more conducive to getting things done in code.
"Kids programming on computers must have sounded futuristic and impractical in the 1960's when Logo was first created," the MIT Media Lab's Champika Fernando wrote in a blog post. "In fact, even in the 1980's when I wrote my first lines of code, my working-class parents questioned how coding would ever benefit their nine-year-old daughter.
"Today, computers are used in almost every aspect of our lives. We have them in our homes, at work, and in our pockets. My early experiences with computers gave me confidence that I could create with new technologies, not just interact with them. Those early experiences not only influenced my career path, but provided me with new ways to express my ideas and influence the world around me."