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A message form Seán Gallagher, Deputy Director, PDST Technology in Education. 

hourofcode

Hour of Code

The Hour of Code will take place during the week of Dec 8th – 14th in schools all over the world. Following on from “EU Code week”, during which Ireland arranged more coding events than any other country in the EU, this provides an opportunity for teachers and students alike to try coding. Hadi Partovi, promoting the Hour of Code gave a very clear presentation at the Web Summit in Dublin, a fantastic event dubbed ‘the ploughing championship for those interested in IT’ – his presentation can be accessed at this link .

The aim of Hour of Code is to show that coding is not just for ‘geeks and boys’ but rather to introduce pupils, teachers and parents in a fun way to computational thinking. There are lots of teaching resources at http://code.org/ accessible once teachers complete the free sign up procedure.

PDST Technology in Education will endeavour to schedule as many coding events for teachers during code week through the Education Centre network, so if you want to experience Scratch programming for the first time, please contact your local Education Centre. For those of you who have experience of coding already, will you please consider scheduling a coding event in your school and register this event on the interactive map at http://code.org/ – showing once again that Ireland is to the forefront in providing coding opportunities for our students.

Some relevant resources from Irish schools:

In this short video clip, principal Enda McGorman speaks about why his school uses Scratch to support numeracy skills, in particular problem-solving.

Here teacher Elaine Lyons uses Scratch, among other tools, in a 6th class lesson on procedural writing based on a science experiment.

Step by step Scratch lesson plans aimed at primary teachers.

PDST Technology in Education also runs an online course for teachers on using Scratch in the classroom  .This course will run again in Spring 2015 – enrolment details will be announced in January. (Sign up to the PDST Technology in Education newsletter for regular updates).