Should coding be taught at schools? How should it be taught, as a subject or as a cross curricular teaching and learning tool? Do you have any experience in using different coding resources?
These and other questions were asked to the audience to introduce the topic of coding at schools. Before going into practice, an overview of an eTwinning learning event on coding, that took place from the 5 to 19 October, was also given.
In fact, during this learning event, we discovered how teachers were afraid to teach coding at schools because they didn’t feel competent enough, they didn’t know how to integrate it with their own subjects or because their school were not well equipped. However, as time went by, and they got the change to try out many different resources on coding, they started to become more confident. They learnt about different coding tools such as Alice, Greenfoot, Pocket Code, Kodu Game Lab, Scratch and many others, thus gaining a more in-depth coding skills and understanding how these tools could be used in the classroom. Many of the participants even decided to participate in the Code Week by organizing a coding event with their pupils. At the end of the learning event, many teachers were already teaching coding in their classrooms, and new eTwinning projects in coding started to take shape.
Time to give it a try!
After this first introduction to the topic and to the initiatives that may be of use for teachers willing to experiment coding in the classroom, it was time for the participants to give it a try. The workshop facilitators presented some of the most popular coding teaching resources, the participants were divided into three different groups and they were given the opportunity to try out Scratch, Pocket Code or Unplugged Activities.
Tommaso guided the participants through Pocket Code a very intuitive programming tool that allows to develop mobile application for android (animation, games…) in the matter of minutes from your smartphone or tablet.
Tomislava showed Scratch, perhaps the most well-known coding tool among teachers, a resource useful to introduce computational thinking and creativity in the classroom. Scratch is a visual programming language and can be used for developing interactive stories and animations or games.
Finally, Naír showed the audience how to teach coding to their pupils without using computers. For that, she focused on the unplugged activities Cody Roby and My robotic friends, two fun activities to start playing with coding and “robotics” at any age.
All the participants chose one or more activities and tried them out with their colleagues.