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Kristina Junger






ToonTalk 2 to Spearhead WebLabs, a New European Educational Research Initiative

Animated Program’s award-winning computer programming software ToonTalk 2 leads an expansive education project to benefit children of all backgrounds


SAN CARLOS, CA. – March 6, 2002—ToonTalk 2, the ultimate kid-friendly computer programming tool from Animated Programs, is providing the infrastructure for WebLabs, an innovative education research initiative set to begin in six European countries this year. WebLabs will explore how children, ages 10-14, can first understand and then utilize the building blocks of computer technology to more effectively learn essential science and math skills. The objective is to provide children from diverse cultures, backgrounds and incomes with the tools they need to compete and succeed in a technology-based information age.


ToonTalk 2 software teaches the basics of programming, including constructing, debugging and running programs, in a joyful and welcoming interactive world.  Though specifically designed for children, ToonTalk’s combination of simplicity and sophistication has attracted many adults and older students. ToonTalk 2 makes programming easy to understand by animating familiar objects such as birds, robots, trucks and bicycle pumps rather than presenting traditional textual exercises.


Children will utilize ToonTalk 2 software in the WebLabs project to alter, compose or create new versions of scientific or math-based “transparent modules” by programming their own simulations, animations or games based on those subjects. The results can then be posted on their own web sites so that others can see how they work and make their own amendments.


“WebLabs turns things around by making children the producers and not simply the consumers of multimedia and educational web material,” according to Ken Kahn, President and Founder of Animated Programs. “In the process, they will achieve a firmer grasp of both scientific and mathematical concepts in addition to the important concepts of computer programming. We consider this invaluable knowledge in the digital age, especially for children who might not have as many opportunities as others.”


The United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Bulgaria will be the first countries participating in WebLabs. Partners in the project also include the University of London's Institute of Education, Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology, and Logotron, UK's leading educational software publisher.


ToonTalk 2 is currently available for Windows at $24.95 and can be ordered online at www.toontalk.com or by calling 800-317-9830. Versions are also available in Japanese, UK English, Swedish, European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.



--Teaches children computer programming in a fun and supportive environment.

--Parents and students can learn computer programming basics.

--Educational skills include puzzle solving, logic problems and critical thinking.

--Three levels of play including narrated demonstrations.

--Easy to use and understand.

--Terrific price point at $24.95

--Children can create their own games and programs and share them with friends.

--Internet enabled and browser integrated.



ABOUT ANIMATED PROGRAMS: Animated Programs was founded in 1992 and is based in San Carlos, California.  Its mission is to make computer programming “child’s play.”  The ToonTalk brand of products has been researched under consulting contracts for the University of London, the Swedish Institute of Computer Science and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Founder and President Ken Kahn is an MIT computer science Ph.D. and an expert in designing computer programming languages.


ABOUT WEBLABS: WebLabs is a 3-year project funded by the European Union. Professors Celia Hoyles and Richard Noss of the Institute of Education, University of London are directing the project which spans six European countries, and consists of a cross-disciplinary group of educators, computer scientists, curriculum developers and publishers.



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