Google launches program to teach kids how to code

For kids coming into in an increasingly software-driven world, learning to program is a crucial skill that sets them up for future success. Access to training resources isn’t readily available to everyone. 

To address this gap, Google launched a new educational resource for school teachers to teach the basics of programming to students on Monday. Called ‘Code with Google’, the resource offers interactive courseware designed to help school kids learn computer science through hands-on activities and lessons. 

“Code with Google is the next step in our ongoing commitment to closing equity gaps in computer science education. With the right tools and resources, more teachers can help their students unlock their potential with code,” says Maggie Johnson, Google’s VP Education and University Relations in a blog post

The free curriculum includes CS First, which uses video content to teach kids (ages 9-14) how to code in Scratch, an MIT-developed programming language for kids. The user interface supports English and Spanish, and curriculum themes include sports, art, fashion and design, music, game design, and storytelling. It also bundles an existing app called Grasshopper, which teaches kids how to program in Javascript, and Applied CS Skills, which teaches students how to build games on Android. 

Google also offers a 15-hour free crash course in machine learning for developers, which was used internally to train Google employees. As a part of the announcement, Google also announced a $1 million grant to the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

Two weeks ago, Google added a media literacy guide to help kids identify fake news and phishing attacks.