The Bootstrap Blog

"Your website has an invalid certificate..."

Many of you woke up Monday morning to discover that our website was being flagged as potentially insecure. Not exactly the news you want when you're preparing for your first class of the week!

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Posted October 20th, 2020

Bootstrap:Algebra - Choose your Language!

The Racket syntax used in WeScheme is perfect for math teachers looking to integrate computing into their classes with the least possible friction, but there are lots of good reasons to use Pyret instead:

  • Pyret's syntax is a lot more like JavaScript, Python, or other C-style languages. As a result, it looks more like traditional programming languages.
  • An increasing number of schools are starting to use more than one of our modules (e.g. - combining Algebra and Data Science). Since every other module uses Pyret, it makes sense to use the same language across all courses.
  • Some people live in mortal fear of parenthetical syntax. You know who you are! ;-)

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Posted May 1st, 2020

Accessibility (Part 3): The Definitions Area

Astute readers our last two entries will notice that we haven't mentioned the Definitions Area, and that's for good reason. The programs in the Interactions Area are so short that there's no harm in having the computer read out each symbol or keyword. But that ignores a much, much more difficult problem: how does a screenreader navigate programs that are dozens, hundreds or even thousands of lines long?

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Posted February 27th, 2017

Accessibility (Part 2): Images

In Bootstrap, students discover functions that draw all kinds of images, as well as functions that combine them in different ways. A student can, for example, display a triangle rotated 45 degrees, inscribed inside a circle. Images are opaque datatypes - how does a screen reader describe an image? A common solution is to annotate them with "This is an Image", and have the screen reader leave it at that. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, that's a lot of missing information!

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Posted by February 28th, 2017

Accessibility (Part 1): Getting Started

Today, we're announcing a beta release of WeScheme that adds full compatibility with screen readers. Fire up NVDA or JAWS and try it now!

When we say "Bootstrap is for all students", we mean it. Any time CS is required - whether in the form of a mandatory course or when integrated into a required math class - the bar for software accessibility becomes much higher. We take our goals seriously, and that's why we've begun a significant overhaul of our software to make it accessible to students with disabilities. To be clear: this is a journey we have only begun, and there is a lot more work to be done before Bootstrap is fully-accessible to all students! In this blog post (and the ones to follow), We'll share some of our efforts thus far, the problems we've faced, and the approaches we've taken to addressing them. We'll also highlight some of the challenges that we're still working on, in the hopes that others will find them helpful.

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Posted January 5th, 2017

Introducing Bootstrap:Reactive

The Bootstrap team is pleased to announce that Bootstrap:Reactive is officially out of beta, and the latest edition of the curriculum has been released! If you're a math teacher who has taught Bootstrap:Algebra, Bootstrap:Reactive lets you use your experience and expertise to teach a rigorous CS class while preserving the math you care about. If you're a CS teacher who wants to use the Bootstrap approach to introduce AP-level concepts, or an educator who's had success with Bootstrap, Bootstrap:Reactive lets you and your students build on what you know, without having to throw everything out and start over.

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Posted January 12th, 2017