There are a growing number of countries in Europe and internationally which are refocusing their ICT curricula on developing students’ computer programming and coding skills and introducing this topic in national, regional or school curricula. And this is of course a top priority for the education system.
TIWI introduces the use of coding to upper primary and secondary teachers and to their students.
The project focuses on the use of two main languages, Scratch and Python. Scratch is an open graphical environment for developing interactive games and multimedia developed at MIT. With a version for younger kids (Scratch Junior), they can program their own interactive stories and create games. Scratch is event based (Python, a more textual, general-purpose programming language, and is used mainly by secondary school students to solve a wide range of problems. According to the recently published Royal society report on computing education “After the Reboot – Computing Education in UK Schools” since the subject was introduced in English schools in 2014, Scratch became the most used programming language for primary school (31% or primary school teachers used it). At secondary level, there was a shift to text-based languages, with Python being the most popular (21%).
Both programming languages are open and free to use while their combination with the inquiry based approach that TIWI proposes provides an innovative solution that can help both teachers and their students to build their digital skills and move to the ahead to the digital era.