A couple of weeks ago we launched code club at our school. It was awesome to see students and teachers learning alongside each other.
Code club was born out of a discussion amongst teachers, and a desire amongst the teachers to learn basic coding skills. We set a tentative time 8am – 8.30am before school and put word out. The first day we only had 7 people turn up – 5 of whom were teachers, but I was totally stoked that 5 teachers wanted to give up valuable time before school to learn coding – so awesome!
We were pretty independent in our learning today, so far we are using two different coding tutorial programmes – Scratch and Code Academy. The students seemed to prefer Scratch for its visual nature and they way it introduces new concepts, while the teachers liked Code Academy better.
After a couple of weeks of low numbers with the early morning time slot, we decided to do a bit more promotion at assembly and the relaunch code club during Friday lunch times. We had over 40 students turn up for our first lunch time in the library, and subsequently had to move to the shared learning area the following week. For the first couple of weeks we’ve been getting our students to use scratch which most of them are familiar with. Our absolute beginners we started on Code Studio, and some of the students who wanted to focus on web design have been using Code Academy.
Next week we’re going to up the challenge by introducing Code Combat. I like the idea of Code Combat as it requires the students to write the code rather than drop and drag the blocks and introduces the ideas and the logic behind coding.
Unfortunately Friday lunch times haven’t turned out to be a good time for teachers as many are coaching sport at the same time, so we’re still working on a way to support teacher’s interests in coding. Very open to suggestions though! I’m also looking for some more ways to get more girls involved.