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Why is the new computing curriculum important to us?


BT is playing a large part in the new computing curriculum that comes into effect from September this year. We’ve had a long history in education, from our school out-reach programmes through the sponsoring of a number of Academies & UTC’s, and our portfolio of ICT services including those specifically designed for education. A workforce with sound computing skills is critical to a thriving UK Information Economy: a UK workforce with the right skills is essential not only for companies in the ICT sector but to enable all businesses large and small to fully exploit advanced ICT services.

 

BT also believes that inspiring girls to study Computing at the earliest ages is also key to retaining their interests throughout their education hopefully leading to careers in the industry. Hence we are very excited about the new computer curriculum and are focussing our efforts on making it a success.

Why Scratch Jr?


Coding (or computer programming) is a new type of literacy. Just as writing helps you organize your thinking and express your ideas, the same is true for coding. In the past, coding was seen as too difficult for most people. But we think coding should be for everyone, just like writing.

As young children code with Scratch Jr, they learn how to create and express themselves with the computer, not just interact with it. In the process, children develop design and problem-solving skills that are foundational for later academic success, and they use math and language in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of early-childhood numeracy and literacy.

With Scratch Jr, children aren’t just learning to code, they are coding to learn.

BT to be UK Partner for Scratch Jr.

At BT we are proud to be involved in the project to deliver the new Scratch Jr software programming environment into primary schools across the UK to assist with their computing lessons. Scratch Jr has been developed by Tufts University & MIT - the team that produced the very popular Scratch programming environment – and has been designed specifically for 5-11 year olds.

The project is one of a number of interventions by BT to support the new Computing curriculum, including lead industry partner for the Barefoot Computing project, led by the BCS academy of computing, the “Teaching Computing” MOOC developed by the University of East Anglia.

ScratchJr is out now and available to download for iPad at the App Store.

What is Scratch Jr?


Scratch Jr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves – then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life.

History of Scratch Jr


Scratch Jr was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language, used by millions of young people (ages 8 and up) around the world. The succesful Scratch interface was redesigned and programming language made developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designed to match young children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development

When Will Scratch Jr Be Available?


Our long-term goal is to make Scratch Jr available for free on many different platforms, so that all children everywhere will have easy access to coding with Scratch Jr. 

Available now for the iPad at the App Store

Goals of Scratch Jr


The goal of Scratch Jr is to "develop and study the next generation of innovative technologies and curricular materials to support integrated STEM learning in early childhood education Scratch Jr is still under development in a prototype stage and is planned on being completed for public release sometime during the Summer of 2014.

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