EU Code Week is a grassroots movement supported by the European Commission, which brings digital literacy, including coding, to all Europeans.
The launch of this year’s EU Code Week takes place on international teacher’s day. EU Code Week is part of the Digital Education Action Plan, which aims to help Europeans acquire digital skills that will help them take part in society and the labour market. The goal is that Code Week reaches 50% of all schools in Europe and the Western Balkans by 2020. Last year, 2.7 million participants in over 70 countries participated in the initiative, a true testimony to the growing interest in digital literacy, computational thinking, coding and tech skills.
Code Week supports activity organisers
It is essential that everyone has equal access to digital technologies and learning, regardless of the socio-economic background and gender. To make this happen, this year, Code Week is placing a greater emphasis on reaching schools through teacher training along with other institutions and actors such as public libraries.
Multiple online and in-person trainings were organised in advance of this year’s Code Week for participants to make the most of EU Code Week. An online course for teachers is currently available to provide a deep dive so that teachers can bring coding and computational thinking into the classroom. While this course is designed for teachers, it is available for anyone who is interested in organising coding activities. Furthermore, new learning materials and resources including videos and lesson plans for teachers and event organisers have been made available in 29 languages.
Moreover, an Icebreaker online course ran between May and June to empower teachers to introduce coding into the classroom. In July, face-to-face teacher training was organised in Brussels for 25 teachers based on the Computer Science Fundamentals from the Code.org curriculum and EU Code Week methodology.
The CodeWeek4All challenge
This year, all participants are encouraged to take part in the CodeWeek4All challenge. Any EU Code Week activity that is linked with at least 9 other activities; or linked with at last 2 other activities in two different countries; or includes more than 500 participants will earn a Certificate of Excellence.
Interactive events organised across Europe
- On the 5th of October in Luleå, Sweden an event is being organized called Game Create which will teach children together with adults how to create computer games in Unity.
- In Malta, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology is organizing free coding sessions aimed at the general public over the course of 15 days. These sessions vary from ‘Build your first website using HTML’ to ‘Game development with scratch’ amongst others.
- In Croatia students in grade 6 at II. osnovna škola Čakovec will take part in a training on Machine Learning on 14 October as a part of a programme to introduce them to the main concepts of artificial intelligence.
- The Austrian Economic Chambers are hosting a kick-off event for European Codeweek, which will take place on 4 October. This will involve a hackathon for vocational trainees as well as activity stations for primary school students. 25 different workshops are being offered for students of all ages and a wide range of local initiatives will get the chance to present their courses, concepts and tools in teaching digital literacy and coding to students.
- In Bulgaria, the Janica Foundation will organize an event on 4D augmented reality for hearing-impaired children on 10 October starting at 3:30 PM. During the event, hearing-impaired children between the ages of 8 to 14 will learn how STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) training can be fun and accessible to all using maps and a dedicated application that makes sounds, letters and words come to life.
- The opening event of Code Week in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which kicks off on 5 October will bring together the young and old to provide digital education. In various workshops, children and their parents will be able to learn basic programming concepts, create video games or interactive graphics, get to know Arduino, program a small scale set of traffic lights, engage in playful unplugged activities, discuss online privacy and abuses that can happen, and learn about the ethics in IT. A documentary on the topic of hackers from Slovenia will be shown.
- Through Bit by Bit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, UPINITK (Association of Professors and Informatics Teachers in the Tuzla Canton) is coordinating actions in primary and secondary schools in Tuzla Canton. The best students will be invited to the final event on Friday 18 October where they will present their ideas and projects and will receive awards.
- In Petrila, Romania an initiative called the updated heritage promotion allows young people to get the chance to learn about how to do computer graphics, how to work with Micro.bits, what is an what can be done with a 3D printer; and how to use technology to promote traditional cultural values. This will take place between 7 and 17 October.
- In Montenegro a four-week course about game development and how to use JS and Canvas for game development will kick off on 13 October, where participants will build a game of their own in pairs, thereby reinforcing technical skills as well as teamwork and cooperation.
- The Coding Our Future initiative and series of events aim to make every week a Code Week in Cyprus! The private non-profit initiative introduces students to programming and robotics in a fun and interactive way using Scratch, micro:bit for programming and Engino, mBot, meet Edison, Lego WeDo for robotics. The initiative is also enriched with a tour of the first Computer Museum in Cyprus, where students see and use computers of a past era and experience the technology evolution.