education flyer suggestions

David Gerard dgerard at
Mon Dec 14 18:06:01 UTC 2015

On 22 October 2015 at 16:18, Paul Sutton <zleap at> wrote:

> 1.  The new curriculum in the UK  (
> m/
> ) has a focus partly on using computers responsibly,  so you could argue
> that using free software comes under this, as you are not taking the
> irresponsible step of using pirated software for example.
> There is also a focus on safety so again by using free software you can
> examine the software, and make improvements if there are problems,  the
> software is transparent in what it is doing and how it works.

What this actually means in practice is getting young kids working in Scratch.

Scratch is AWESOME. There's been a zillion simplified languages that
claim to be for children, but Scratch appears to be the one that
actually works.

I wrote a blog post about it here:

My daughter's pretty bright at school, but talking to her teacher he
says it catches the interest of the academically-average and
academically-not-so-good kids as well. And at that age (7-8yo),
interest is Job #1.

Trouble is that Scratch is not quite a fully free stack yet. The old
Scratch 1 is under GPLv2 and something called the Scratch Source Code
License, I don't know what Scratch 2 is under. My daughter runs the
standalone at home as the Windows version running under Wine.

But! One thing the Scratch website does is encourage community and
collaboration. Take others' work, remix and improve it. It's her
favourite social network site. It gets kids used to *sharing and
improving*. That being the original point of software freedom, you'll
recall. So I would suggest tactically we see what it takes to free

(I need to dig up the story of getting Scratch into schools -
apparently it was a years-long effort, and apparently I know people
who know people who dragged it through and made it happen.)

- d.

More information about the Discussion mailing list