The Next Viitor Program, funded with $ 1 million, was launched. Students and teachers in Romania will acquire digital skills by programming smart clocks or playing Minecraft

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Microsoft Romania officially launched the Alt Viitor program, which will support the development of digital competences for tens of thousands of students and teachers in Romania. The educational project is funded by the company with $ 1 million and will be developed and run for two years by a consortium of non-profit organizations consisting of: Coder Dojo Bucharest & the School of Values, E Civis Association, EOS Foundation, Association for Education and Step by Step Professional Development. According to Microsoft, the projects were chosen to continue, by their own means, after the two years of receiving Microsoft funding.

"Other Future will support the development of digital skills, with focus on programming, for over 11,000 students. Also, through specific actions, the project will raise the awareness of new technologies among over 160,000 children. In order to ensure lasting impact, Alt Viitor will conduct specialized training for more than 4,500 teachers across the country, "according to Microsoft Romania

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According to Gabriele Matei, CEO of Microsoft Romania, "it's getting harder to catch the attention of today's children." That is why, under the program, many children will acquire new digital skills in less common ways for Romanian education. These are robotics and children's programming workshops, where teachers are taught to use the Minecraft Education Game, courses where students learn to program intelligent clocks based on the micro platform: bits or robots </p>
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"As a parent, I know that a solid construction in early childhood education begins. Based on a strong mathematics school built some decades ago, Romania's present is integrated into a general European framework with regard to the competitiveness of the active population, which also explains the presence of so many technology firms that have real hubs and which contributes significantly to Romania's GDP. It is time to engage all of us again, to remodel education in order to preserve such a reality in the future. Or even to build an even better reality, "she added.

Winning projects

CoderDojo Tech Academy The project will be run by CoderDojo in partnership with the School of Values ​​Association and involves the opening of new dojoes (interactive programming workshops) in 7 counties in Romania where there is no such initiative at present. Here, children will learn programming using various technologies, depending on the skills of each mentor and their resources (Minecraft education, Java, Scratch, etc.).

Everyone Digital. The E-Civis Association program aims to ensure equal access to technology for all children and young people, focusing on poor areas in the south of the country, but also addressing children in Bucharest whose families do not allow their robotics or programming. Under the Alt Viitor program, a RoboHub technology will be opened in Bucharest this summer, and free programming workshops will be organized for children whose parents can not pay for such courses. In addition, volunteers from the association will go to schools in the target areas where they will teach 6 hours of computer science to students

Informatica 365. This project belongs to the EOS Foundation Romania and aims to train teachers at national level to teach a new subject introduced in the secondary school curriculum starting with the school year 2017-2018, Informatics and ICT. Within the project, gymnasium teachers will have access to educational tools and resources for teaching this discipline, such as Minecraft for Education and Make Code

N ew Kids of the Code carried out by the Center for Education and Professional Development Step by Step, aims at developing the critical and logical thinking of primary school children and responds to national school curricula by proposing a Critical Thinking Guide Optionally integrated, information-based course for lower secondary education

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