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Estonian first graders to learn computer code
by Staff Writers
Tallinn (AFP) Sept 6, 2012


Tech-savvy Estonia has launched a project encouraging public schools to teach pupils, including first graders, to write computer code, the project's authors said Thursday.

Ave Lauringson from the Tiger Leap Foundation said the project was set up to counter the dwindling number of computer lessons being given in many Estonian schools.

The "teaching materials for all grade levels are almost compiled by now and the interest of schools wishing to join the project since we launched it this week increases every day," Lauringson said.

The foundation is training teachers in September with the goal of letting them start IT classes in October.

Lauringson said the foundation will use a Microsoft tool that teaches kids how to create web-based games.

"They can become a kind of IT experts themselves at the age of seven," she said.

Estonia, a Baltic state of 1.3 million people that joined the EU in 2004 and the eurozone in 2011, has often been praised for its IT innovations that have earned it the nickname of E-stonia.

The Microsoft program called Kodu, meaning "home" in Estonian, enables children to create PC and XBox games via a simple visual programming language.

The project is financed from the state budget and will cost 70,000 euros ($88,000) this year.

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China's Baidu to invest $1.6 bn in cloud computing
Beijing (AFP) Sept 3, 2012
China's leading search engine Baidu will invest more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in cloud computing over the coming years, its chief financial officer said on Monday. The investment will go toward building data centres and hiring staff for its online data-storage service, Baidu said in a statement, quoting Li Xinzhe, but without giving details. Baidu also announced a new web brow ... read more


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