There was a successful Kickstarter campaign this week for a cross-platform software development tool called LiveCode. We admit to being unaware of LiveCode up until now but two things caught our attention immediately. First was LiveCode's claim that "everyone in the world can code" because it was designed to be easy to learn and accessible by anyone. Second was that 25% of the high schools in Scotland are now teaching programming using LiveCode and enrollment is doubling. See some teacher comments in this video from the LiveCode blog. Exciting!
LiveCode was originally inspired by HyperCard for the Mac and has existed for over 10 years as a commercial company. The tool would normally cost hundreds of dollars to license even at the educational level. But the Kickstarter campaign has allowed the developers to take it open source. Anyone will be able to download and use an easy to learn cross-platform software developement tool for free! Students will be able to use it on a Windows, Mac, or Linux laptop and install it for free. This is perfect for Start Code and perfect for schools across the U.S.
Needless to say we backed the Kickstarter campaign. We supported at the level to get the High School Teacher Training webinar series. Scott will also be looking at possibly bringing LiveCode to his high school class at Academe of the Oaks. We can't wait to see the students create their first project to deploy to their iPhone, iPad, or Android phone. That will be an exciting moment! The kids will be motivated because they can make projects that will run on the platform of their choice. And with a purchase of the LiveCode commercial license they also have the option of making it a paid app! We hope to introduce it and try some projects at our upcoming summer camps. This will be a great place to try it with time to play around and see what can be done.
Congratulations to RunRev, the developers of LiveCode. They have a lot of work ahead of them but the blog posts have been fun to read and their enthusiasm shows.