Crowdfunding for kids’s programming language Hedy

The easy-to-learn programming language Hedy is a big worldwide success. To develop the language additional, Felienne Hermans, affiliate professor on the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), began a crowdfunding.

Hedy was launched to make programming extra accessible for kids. ‘There was a big gap between Scratch, the block-based language to introduce children to programming, and real programming languages like Python,’ Hermans explains. ‘To be successful in Python, you have to know all the syntax rules and apply them correctly, which is challenging and causes a lot of frustration when you get errors without understanding the mistake you made. Instead of introducing all rules at once, Hedy starts off easy, without many rules, and gradually introduces them as users grow more advanced.’

Half 1,000,000 packages

Loads of kids began utilizing the language quickly after its introduction in March 2020. Only shortly after its first birthday, Hedy reached the mile stone of half 1,000,000 packages made within the language. ‘Hedy is already used worldwide to teach programming in schools,’ Hermans says. ‘Next to schools in Leiden and Amsterdam, Hedy is also used in schools in the UK, Brazil and South-Africa.’

A contributing issue to the worldwide enlargement of Hedy are the numerous languages this system has grow to be out there in. Apart from the Dutch and English model, Hedy has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, and a Chinese model is at present being developed.

Future plans

Hermans has formidable plans for the long run and began a crowdfunding to comprehend them. Hermans: ‘Hedy is free to use and open-source, which means that everyone can add to the program. As we have seen that the program is a huge success, we want to develop and expand it. Our plans include adaptive levelling, which means that the program moves along with the skills of the children, the translation of Hedy in more languages, to make it available to even more children, and the development of more levels and lessons, in order to learn children more about all features that come with programming.’

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