Google has unveiled a new initiative called Project Bloks that aims to teach very young children some of the foundational principles of programming. The project involves physical blocks that kids can snap together to create a program. It builds on an idea called “tangible computing” that dates back to the 1970s.
“I think this project has the potential to change the discourse around [computer science] education,” says Stanford University researcher Paulo Blikstein, who is also working on the project. “Instead of focusing on the idea that CS is a job skill and that learning CS will land you a good job, we are focusing on CS as a new literacy for the 21st century, which is important for everyone regardless of your career path.”