Early Coding in Schools – Erasmus+ KA201
Period: 01.11.2018 – 31.10.2020
Project number: 2018-1-PT01-KA201-047461
- Escola Básica do 1º com Pré-escolar da Cruz de Carvalho (Portugal, Funchal) – Leading partner
- Direção Regional de Educação (Portugal, Funchal)
- Ingenious Knowledge GmbH (Germany, Cologne)
- ASOCIACION CAZALLA-INTERCULTURAL (Spain, Lorca)
- Střední průmyslová škola chemická Pardubice (Czech Republic)
The goal of the project Early Coding in Schools is to spread the learning of computational logic and coding skills in schools to young learners (ages 6-18) while instilling knowledge and appreciation for their home countries. In the last years decision makers are beginning to see how important it is to understand how computers work since they are all around us. We see the first countries requiring young students to be educated in computational logic, even though teachers are not really prepared for it yet. With the advance of modern technology the ability to code is as important as reading or understanding maths but many schools have difficulty teaching this vital skill to their students. Most teachers do not have the required skill or experience in guiding young learners in gaining knowledge and interest in programming.
In order to address this issue we intend to develop a learning environment that is suitable for young learners in which they can be guided by their teachers. This environment should be easy for busy teachers to use without requiring a background in programming themselves and without too much preparation. The environment will be fun for the students so they are motivated to use it and simple enough for teachers to add to their current classroom curricula.
The program will also encourage learners to explore a virtual map of their home region. In order to gain access to content regarding notable features of the map the students must learn small coding tasks which let them travel from one place to the next. This will give them access to videos or text as well as allowing them to earn virtual badges showing off their newly acquired coding skills and knowledge of their region. This allows teachers to combine two important subjects in their classrooms. The tool will be accessible through a browser interface so that there is no technical barrier for schools.
In the project we will develop several of these regions and we will keep this part modular so that the tool can be adjusted to any region.
Once the software development is finished we will run a large scale trial in which we involve at least 300 students and observe their learning success with the tool. We will then prepare the tool and share it on an EU-wide scale, informing teachers and schools about it and helping them implement it in their own classroom. We will also train teachers in teaching early coding skills with this tool so that they can serve as multipliers and help others.