The LEGO Foundation is partnering with the Scratch Foundation to provide resources for Scratch’s online learning community. A US$10-million grant over five years will contribute to new digital tools, activities and educational materials for the creative coding platform in an effort to make virtual learning more accessible to teachers and students globally.
Through the Scratch platform, kids can create their own digital stories, games and animation to share with other users. The activities are designed to let kids “snap” together graphical blocks of code in the same way they build with LEGO bricks. The platform focuses on creative thinking, reasoning and collaboration.
Partnering with the LEGO Foundation should expand Scratch’s reach into homes, schools and community centers where it has not previously been available. The initial push will include communities in Mexico, South Africa, Ukraine, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda.
This grant will see the Scratch Foundation, a non-profit that grew out of the MIT Media Lab, become one of four specialist partners in the LEGO Foundation’s Tech & Play Initiative.
Other kidcos have been working to address gaps in content accessibility lately, given the number of children who continue to learn at home due to pandemic-related lockdowns. In addition to issues around access (a recent study from Common Sense Media and Boston Consulting found that nearly 16 million kids in the US lacked a way of logging in to class), many kids struggle to learn from lecturing alone, and online education tools often fail to accommodate students with learning disabilities.
For its part, the BBC launched several new education-focused programming blocks earlier this month as England entered its third national lockdown. Lockdown Learning increased CBBC’s average audience by 355% for the week following its launch, and learning-focused content was requested 40.8 million times on BBC iPlayer.