Scratch + Google = Next Generation of Programming Blocks for Kids

On the Scratch Team, we joke about the number of hours that we put into every detail of the design of our programming blocks and interface. We believe that our careful (sometimes obsessive) attention to design is one of the keys to the success of the Scratch community — which now has more than 11 million registered members, with 15,000 new members joining every day, from all around the world. We work hard to make sure our designs align with the ways kids think and learn, aiming to make Scratch the most intuitive, friendly, and motivating way for kids to learn to code and to express themselves creatively with new technologies.

Our broader goal is not just to support Scratch itself, but to spread the Scratch approach to coding and learning. And that’s why we’re announcing today a new collaboration with Google, focused on helping other developers create high-quality coding experiences for kids. As a first step, we’re working with Google to develop a new generation of graphical programming blocks, called Scratch Blocks, which we hope will be adopted widely by developers of children’s products. The underlying code for Scratch Blocks will be made available as open source, so that developers can easily integrate the blocks into apps, games, and toys that they are creating for kids.

We see the Scratch-Google collaboration as a perfect match, with complementary areas of expertise and a shared set of values and beliefs. The design of Scratch Blocks is based on the Scratch Team’s deep experience in designing creative, intuitive interfaces for young learners, while the underlying code for Scratch Blocks builds on Google’s Blockly technology and the dissemination of Scratch Blocks will be supported by Google’s strong network of connections with software developers. At the same time, Scratch and Google share a common vision of coding, seeing it as more than just a set of technical skills but rather a valuable tool for everyone, empowering kids (and adults) to imagine, invent, and explore.

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