Posted by Champika Fernando, Product Manager, Google and Kasia Chmielinski, Product Lead, Scratch
Today, we announced a collaboration with the MIT Media Lab’s Scratch Team on
the development of a new generation of graphical programming blocks, called
Scratch Blocks. Released as an open-source developer preview today, Scratch
Blocks builds on Google’s Blockly technology and the Scratch Team’s expertise
in designing creative interfaces for young learners.
Scratch Blocks represents the first step in a broader effort, focused on
developing new software toolkits that enable developers to create consistent,
high-quality programming experiences for kids everywhere.
Since its launch in 2007, Scratch has empowered more than 11 million young
people globally to create more than 14 million games, animations, and stories,
and to share their creations with others in the Scratch online community.
Dance Party 3.0 project by ArtsyGal on Scratch
Like the Scratch Team, we believe that coding is more than just a set of
technical skills; coding is a valuable tool for everyone, empowering kids (and adults) to imagine, invent and explore.
Today, we’re releasing an early developer preview of the Scratch Blocks
horizontal grammar - an icon-based grammar that’s optimized for small screens,
and is ideal for beginner-friendly experiences (see screenshot below). We also
have plans to support the vertical, text-based grammar that’s already familiar
to today’s users of Scratch.
This prototype implementation of Scratch Blocks controls a LEGO WeDo 2.0 device
over a bluetooth connection.
We’re also continuing to improve Blockly, the technology underlying Scratch
Blocks. Today, we open-sourced a native Android version of Blockly that
supports building better experiences on tablets, and we plan to open-source an
iOS version later this year. We've also made significant improvements to the
performance of web Blockly, enabling better rendering performance on mobile
Scratch Blocks will be featured at I/O Youth on May 17, 2016, and in the
“Developing for Kids” Sandbox at Google I/O from May 18-20, 2016 at the
Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. Learn more about Scratch Blocks at scratch.mit.edu/developers. Learn more about Blockly at developers.google.com/blockly.