1 Polytechnic Institute of Viseu/University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
2 University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 5709-5718
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.1227
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Kids Media Lab - Technology and Programming Learning in Preschool Age is a post-doctoral research project in development at the University of Minho (Portugal), from 2016 to 2019. Participants who are part of the project belong to five districts of Portugal (Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Porto, Viseu, Lisboa, Vila Real) and currently cover kindergartens and a total of around 500 children (M. dos S. Miranda-Pinto, 2016). Learning how to program with ScratchJr ( in preschool can be a way to take advantage of the technologies that most children have in family or educational contexts and give children the chance to create their own stories and their own games.

This application has been developed by Bers & Resnick (2016) who tells us that ScratchJr is a way to introduce a programming language that encourages creativity and expression, so that children from 5 years old can create their own interactive projects, through block programming. ScratchJr is a programming language based on Scratch ( and drawn for the development and learning needs of children from preschool to second grade of primary school. The creation of ScratchJr refers to the relative lack of powerful technologies for digital creation and programming in childhood education. This tool provides children with the possibility of creating interactive, animated stories, as well as offers study programs and online resources to support educators and teachers (Flannery et al., 2013).

The ScratchJr version also allows introducing the same programming concepts in blocks, as Scratch does, but in an environment prepared for preschool children. As Bers & Resnick (2016) tell us, “using ScratchJr, children can snap together programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. They can modify how their characters look, design their own backgrounds, add their own voices and sounds and even photos of themselves – and then use the programming blocks to bring their characters to life” (p. 2).

The Purposes in this research are: Initiation into programming learning; Train kindergarten teachers; Develop ScratchJr activities with children and Integration of ScratchJr in kindergartens. In Portugal, this was a pioneering project in Childhood Education contexts and at this paper we expect to show all the work done in training education professionals on how ScratchJr can be integrated into the preschool and in the 1st and 2nd year of primary school (M. S. Miranda-Pinto & Osório, 2015).

Marina Bers (2018) said that “in Europe, as of the writing of this paper, 16 countries integrate coding in the curriculum at the national, regional, or local level, including: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and the UK” (p.2). The main purpose of using this application in preschool contexts in Portugal meets the main objective of the ScrtachJr creator. According to Marina Bers (2018) “when developing ScratchJr, the goal was to design an introductory programming language not to prepare students for computer science degrees and careers (due to the shortage of programmers and software developers in the industry), but to provide them with the intellectual tools to serve a role in civic society. Coding is more than a technical skill; it is a way to achieve literacy in the 21st century, like reading and writing” (p.2).
ScratchJr, Programming, Technologies, Education, Preschool, Primary school.