Welcome to YoYo!

Millions of children are now using the World Wide Web--but most of them do little more than surf, post on bulletin boards, and chat with friends on instant messenger. They are becoming digital couch potatoes.

YoYo, a project from the Learning Webs group at the Media Laboratory, aims to change that. Using YoYo, kids can express themselves more creatively. They can create their own art, build their own web-based video games, and build Flash-like animated movies for their friends-and put their creations on the Web to share with other kids around the world.

In addition, we are providing tools for educators to create and deliver their own content in the form of "active essays." In an active essay, manipulable computational objects are integrated with text, graphics, and video on a web page. For example, a simulation of a scientific concept can be integrated with text descriptions of the concept, so that "readers" can actively explore the concept. YoYo can make it easier for educators (and students) to build these essays.

YoYo 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. YoYo is built on top of Java, preserving all of Java's features, but making them accessible to kids (and other non-expert programmers).

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Last Modified: 10/8/01