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Notes from the Lab


Millions of children are now using the World Wide Web--but by doing little more than click from page to page, they are becoming digital couch potatoes. Bongo, a new project at the MIT Media Laboratory, aims to change that.

Using Bongo, kids can become creators, not just consumers, of dynamic Web pages. They can create their own animated stories, video games and interactive simulations--and put their creations on the Web to share with other kids around the world.

Bongo can be viewed as "Java for kids." Java is becoming the universal programming language of the Web, enabling programmers to add dynamic features to Web pages. But Java is suited only for expert programmers. Bongo is built on top of Java, preserving all of Java's features but making them accessible to kids and other non-expert programmers.

The Bongo team is led by Mitchel Resnick, Fukutake Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences. The work is sponsored by The LEGO Group and the Media Lab's News in the Future Consortium. A beta version of Bongo is available from the Web at .

(Source: Frames, a publication of the MIT Media Laboratory.)

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 3, 1997.

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