Programming without a computer: a new interface for children under eight

P. Wyeth, H. C. Purchase

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Electronic Blocks is a new programming interface, designed for children aged between three and eight years. The Electronic Blocks programming environment includes sensor blocks, action blocks and logic blocks. By connecting these blocks, children can program structures that interact with the environment. The Electronic Blocks programming interface design is based on principles of developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood education. As a result, the blocks provide young children with a programming environment that allows them to explore quite complex programming principles. The simple syntax of the blocks provides opportunities for young children that are unavailable through the use of traditional programming languages. The blocks allow children to create and use simple code structures. The Electronic Blocks environment provides a developmentally appropriate environment for planning overall strategies for solving a problem, breaking a strategy down into manageable units, and systematically determining the weakness of the solution. The Electronic Blocks interface is the physical embodiment of computer programming. The blocks have the unique dynamic and programmable properties of a computer, without its complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 1st Australasian User Interface Conference, AUIC 2000
EditorsBruce Thomas, James Warren
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)0769505155, 9780769505152
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event1st Australasian User Interface Conference, AUIC 2000 - Canberra, Australia
Duration: 31 Jan 20003 Feb 2000


Conference1st Australasian User Interface Conference, AUIC 2000


  • Aging
  • Computer interfaces
  • Computer languages
  • Educational programs
  • Environmental management
  • Joining processes
  • Logic programming
  • Programming environments
  • Programming profession
  • Strategic planning

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