The cloud is the limit: A case study of programming on the web, with the web

David Weintrop*, David Bau, Uri Wilensky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The last ten years have seen a proliferation of introductory programming environments for younger learners. Increasingly, these environments are moving into the “cloud” where they can be accessed through web browsers and run on a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones. The shift to online settings enables a variety of powerful pedagogical features to be incorporated into the design of these learning environments, including making it easy to share learner-authored programs, browse projects written by others, and allow learners to incorporate various Internet resources into their work. Further, the Internet itself can serve as a productive canvas upon which novice programmers can create in the form of dynamic and interactive web pages. This shift in venue for authoring and editing programs is particularly well-suited for young learners growing up in an increasingly online world. In this paper, we present theoretical and practical arguments for online introductory programming environments as powerful learning tools and present data showing various ways young learners take advantage of features of the environment enabled by being situated online. In particular, the paper looks at how the online context can support young learners in authoring programs and interacting with programs authored by others. The contribution of this work is to advance our understanding of how the Internet can be utilized as a resource to situate learning and serve as an inviting and accessible pathway into computing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
StatePublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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