It was a Saturday afternoon in May, and I suddenly realized that the next day was Mother's Day, and I hadn't gotten anything for my mom, so I started thinking about what should I get my mom for Mother's Day? I thought, why don't I make her an interactive Mother's Day card using the Scratch software that I'd been developing with my research group at the MIT Media Lab? We developed it so that people could easily create their own interactive stories and games and animations, and then share their creations with one another. So I thought, this would be an opportunity to use Scratch to make an interactive card for my mom.
Before making my own Mother's Day card, I thought I would take a look at the Scratch website. So over the last several years, kids around the world ages 8 and up, have shared their projects, and I thought, I wonder if, of those three million projects, whether anyone else has thought to put up Mother's Day cards. So in the search box I typed in "Mother's Day," and I was surprised and delighted to see a list of dozens and dozens of Mother's Day cards that showed up on the Scratch website, many of them just in the past 24 hours by procrastinators just like myself. So I started taking a look at them. (Music) I saw one of them that featured a kitten and her mom and wishing her mom a happy Mother's Day. And the creator very considerately offered a replay for her mom. Another one was an interactive project where, when you moved the mouse over the letters of "Happy Mom Day," it reveals a special happy Mother's Day slogan. (Music) In this one, the creator told a narrative about how she had Googled to find out when Mother's Day was happening. (Typing) And then once she found out when Mother's Day was happening, she delivered a special Mother's Day greeting of how much she loved her mom.
So I really enjoyed looking at these projects and interacting with these projects. In fact, I liked it so much that, instead of making my own project, I sent my mom links to about a dozen of these projects. (Laughter) And actually, she reacted exactly the way that I hoped that she would. She wrote back to me and she said, "I'm so proud to have a son that created the software that allowed these kids to make Mother's Day cards for their mothers."
So my mom was happy, and that made me happy, but actually I was even happier for another reason. I was happy because these kids were using Scratch just in the way that we had hoped that they would. As they created their interactive Mother's Day cards, you could see that they were really becoming fluent with new technologies. What do I mean by fluent? I mean that they were able to start expressing themselves and to start expressing their ideas. When you become fluent with language, it means you can write an entry in your journal or tell a joke to someone or write a letter to a friend. And it's similar with new technologies. By writing, be creating these interactive Mother's Day cards, these kids were showing that they were really fluent with new technologies.
Now maybe you won't be so surprised by this, because a lot of times people feel that young people today can do all sorts of things with technology. I mean, all of us have heard young people referred to as "digital natives." But actually I'm sort of skeptical about this term. I'm not so sure we should be thinking of young people as digital natives. When you really look at it, how is it that young people spend most of their time using new technologies? You oft
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