Pocket Code app reaches children worldwide thanks to Google Grants
Catrobat is a non-profit initiative based at Graz University of Technology. It aims to promote computational thinking skills among children, as well as the free and open source software philosophy, in a fun and engaging way. In 2015, Google awarded Catrobat a CS4HS grant, which allowed them to set up a free, open course for the Pocket Code app – available on Google Play for Education. Pocket Code enables students to create games and animations directly on their Android smartphones, without the need for a PC. To make coding as simple as possible, it uses a visual programming framework made up of building blocks, similar to LEGO® bricks. So far Pocket Code has been used by children across the globe to create several thousand creative and innovative projects. A strong and open community fosters learning and enables users to share their projects with schoolmates, friends and the world. Wolfgang Slany, founder of the Catrobat project and head of the Institute of Software Technology at Graz University of Technology, says, “Without the CS4HS award and Google’s long-standing support, including Google’s Summer of Code scholarships for 28 students, we wouldn’t have had such a tremendous impact on the lives of so many kids all over the world.” One of the Catrobat’s main objectives is to make coding as easy and affordable as possible and available to everyone – including schools in developing countries. Pocket Code also offers new opportunities for innovative and future-oriented educational curricula that meet the needs of our digital future. A new online learning platform is set to make it even easier for teachers to provide interactive and dynamic content to their students.