Featured Ebook: Explorations with Kojo. Learn more...
Kojo is an open source App that runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac. It is a Learning Environment – with many different features that enable play, exploration, discovery, creation, and learning in the areas of:
- Computer Programming and Computational thinking.
- Math and Science.
- Inductive, Deductive, Systematic, and Analytical thinking.
- Art, Music, and Creative thinking.
- Problem Solving strategies.
- Electronics and Robotics.
- Computer and Internet literacy.
Kojo has been developed to provide children an environment where they can do self-directed learning in an interactive fashion – through exploration and discovery. This very effective mode of learning is not emphasized enough in regular school pedagogy, and Kojo aims to fill this gap. The Kalpana Center page further describes the thinking behind the use of Kojo in Education.
Kojo builds upon these ideas and provides the following:
- A productive, fun, and friendly graphical environment – where computer programming is used to explore and play with Math, Art, Music, Animations, and Games.
- A point-and-click visual programming facility to make it easy to get started, with full support for text based programming for more advanced usage.
- Turtle graphics, for an intuitive beginning.
- Program Tracing to help understand how programs work.
- Pictures, which take turtle graphics to the next level, to create rich shapes that can be used in animations and games.
- Support for Arduino programming.
- Stories, to author creative works – using programs, text, images, sound, and music.
- Support for the composition and playing of computer generated music, and for MP3 music playback.
- A virtual Math Lab (based on Geogebra) with good support for both Algebra and Geometry.
- An Arithmic Aerobics area that helps children practice and build up their math calculation skills.
- Powerful support (based on Stories) for authoring rich, interactive learning material.
- A modern, powerful, programming language called Scala to work with. You begin with a very small and simple subset of Scala, and progress to the level of Scala proficiency that you care to reach.
- Features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and code templates to make programming friendlier.
- Interactive Program Manipulation using the mouse and keyboard to facilitate exploration and discovery.
- Multi-language capability. English, Swedish, French, Polish, Dutch, Esperanto, German, Hindi, Russian, and Italian are supported, with more to follow.
Kojo is also a useful tool for Scala programming in general, as it provides a powerful REPL for Scala – with the following features:
- Syntax Highlighting
- Code completion
- Worksheet support in the script editor (for inline viewing of expression results)
- Program Tracing
- Searchable script history
- Object Inspection
- AST Browsing
- Saving/Loading of scripts
- Customizable Classpath – to enable experimentation with any Scala or Java class-library
- Other bells and whistles
Kojo can be freely downloaded from The Kojo download page