MIT and Google team up to develop the next generation of Scratch

Scratch is a popular game that teaches kids about computer programming using cartoon-y animated characters.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo

The third generation of Scratch will focus on mobile devices.


Here's some great news for fans of Scratch, an extremely popular game that teaches kids the conceptual "language" around computer programming, using cartoon-y animated characters. The MIT Scratch team said Tuesday that it will collaborate with Google to create the next generation of the game.

This collaboration will first result in a new generation of graphical programming blocks, called Scratch Blocks, which is an open source project that allows developers to create and share the "blocks" (or code) of each game with one another, the university said. Scratch Blocks makes it easier to create programming experiences for a wider range of people that will work on a wider range of devices.

"The Scratch community  now has more than 11 million registered members, according to MIT, with 15,000 new members from joining every day, from around the world," the Scratch team wrote in a blog post. First launched in 2007, Scratch is now in its third generation which has a focus on mobile devices.

The move should modernize Scratch's foundations. Scratch 1.0 was built on Oracle's Java software and Scratch 2.0 on Adobe Systems' Flash, two technologies that have fallen out of favor. But Google's Blockly software works in Web browsers and on Android devices.

Editor's note (June 13, 2017): Updated with additional attribution.