The ToolboX.Academy web platform has been designed and developed by the University of Malaga in collaboration with the Education Innovation Service of the Regional Ministry of Education of the Junta de Andalucía, which validated it in a trial involving 30 schools and 1200 students.
It provides a free computer programming training service integrating an elementary language developed by the team and a curriculum proposal facilitating its implementation in schools and institutes. It also integrates the TXAC Planet television series, with 30 chapters covering the full course. It is currently used by 20.000 + students from 500 schools in Spain, who have already completed 50.000 hours of code on the platform.
We live in a time dominated by technological progress and the uptake of new technologies that quickly and profoundly alters our living habits and the very structure of society. In this context, it is essential to include computer language and computational thinking in the training of our girls, boys and young people, because of the job opportunities offered by this transversal competence in order to reduce the pay gap, the digital divide and the gender gap in engineering, but also because of the possibility of transforming new generations of mere consumers into actors in the technological revolution, which implies for the future of a country.
However, difficulties in computational literacy are structural and address them, involving strong investment in curriculum design, creation of materials and training and certification of qualified teachers to teach programming. The promoters understood that the only ‘fast-track’ alternative was the creation of a platform with sufficient training capacity for students to acquire the main concepts of computational thinking, autonomously and in a playful manner, generating vocations. ToolboX.Academy therefore emerges from a social commitment based on the academic substrate to provide a solution to pre-university levels.