Python 3.4.3 (default, Mar 26 2015, 22:03:40)
[GCC 4.9.2] on linux
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>>> print('Hello World!')
There are free and powerful tools like Python available, and we can start using them at a very young age.
I just started a Pen and Tablet Project called: Hands PTP. There are several groups of teachers using digital instruments, which communicate using the TCP/IP suite. There is a trend to de-emphasize the humanities, in favor of the so-called STEM fields. Since the beginning of civilization, human beings have used their hands, freed by bipedal locomotion. A big chunk of brain real estate is allocated to the hands. Leading educators like Howard Gardner have emphasized the different abilities that humans have.
One good Graphical user interface for beginners is a Pen-Tablet combination, like those made by Wacom. Students follow hand coordination activities, designed to lead to number, variable, and step wise problem solving. These activities are actually done in all the schools of the world, to draw, and write letters and numbers. From those humble beginnings, more complex tasks are developed.
One example is that of a child, using a video camera for stop motion animation.
This method is under research, with the goal of using art, as an entrance point to computer programming.