Felienne Hermans (VU): Hedy: A Gradual Programming Language for Children
According to the World Economic Forum, soon 9 out of 10 jobs will require digital skills, yet today 44% of Europeans aged lack basic digital skills. In Europe, this skills gap will lead to almost 2 million unfilled vacancies for ICT professionals by 2025. To address this problem, we will need to teach children about digital skills and programming earlier. But learning to program is hard, you need to know special codes involving many weird characters, brackets, points, commas. Make a little mistake in a symbol and the code will
crash! That is too complicated for small children.
To solve this issue, we have created Hedy, a programming language for children that grows in complexity step by step. Just like when children are learning to write, and they slowly go from just writing letters, to small sentences to more complex ones. Hedy includes free lessons plans for teachers, and is available in 10 different languages including English, Spanish and Swahili. Since Hedy launched in 2020, over 1.2 million programs have been created by kids worldwide and we have partnered with ZiggoVodafone and ESA to increase our reach.
Hedy can help children worldwide to learn programming in a fun and engaging way teaching them much needed skills for their future.
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