Facebook to offer robots to schools that learn code

CodeFWD program will provide free computer science education online and a Sphero robot to practice on

teenagers on technology

Facebook has introduced a free, online learning program for educators to help inspire students to pursue computer programming.

'CodeFWD' has been created in partnership with robotics company Sphero and aims to increase interest in studying computer science, with a particular view of boosting female engagement. 

"Schools and learning communities are among the most important communities that we all belong to," said Lauryn Ogbechie, education partnerships director at Facebook. "We're creating the programs, tools, and products to build diverse education communities that bring the world closer together.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"We're working on a number of initiatives like CodeFWD to widen the pipeline of diverse talent studying computer science so the next generation of tech innovators reflects and incorporates diverse perspectives, building a future that benefits us all."

According to the social network, CodeFWD prepares educators to introduce the basics of computer programming to their students, with a three-step plan.

The first is a set of online activities, designed for educators to use to introduce students to computer programming. Next is a program that allows them to practice their new skills, before a final set of activities for educators to support their students as they take what they've learned and applied it to block-based coding exercises.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

After completing these three steps, educators who want to continue developing their students' coding skills using a tangible, hands-on product can apply to earn a free classroom set of programmable robots from Facebook's partners, Sphero.

One of the children with a Sphero robot

Advertisement - Article continues below

Facebook said that educators and educational organisations are essential to expose more underrepresented and female students to computer programming and to create the next generation of diverse tech innovators.

According to software programming course provider Makers Academy, the number of women in digital skills-related roles is declining, despite efforts to convince women that coding is an essential skill for the future.

The company explained that the number of women taking computing or ICT GCSEs has fallen by a third in the last three years, from 52,835 in 2014, down to 35,103 in 2018.

Featured Resources

Successful digital transformations are future ready - now

Research findings identify key ingredients to complete your transformation journey

Download now

Cyber security for accountants

3 ways to protect yourself and your clients online

Download now

The future of database administrators in the era of the autonomous database

Autonomous databases are here. So who needs database administrators anymore?

Download now

The IT expert’s guide to AI and content management

Your guide to the biggest opportunities for IT teams when it comes to AI and content management

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/cloud/amazon-web-services-aws/355183/aws-launches-amazon-detective
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS launches Amazon Detective for investigating security incidents

1 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355239/microsofts-patent-design-reveals-a-mobile-device-with-a-third-screen
Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/355271/microsoft-gobbles-up-corpcom-domain-to-keep-it-from-hackers
cyber security

Microsoft gobbles up corp.com domain to keep it from hackers

8 Apr 2020
Visit/server-storage/servers/355254/a-critical-flaw-in-350000-microsoft-exchange-remains-unpatched
servers

A critical flaw in 350,000 Microsoft Exchange remains unpatched

7 Apr 2020