Saturday, 30 January 2016

Playful coding: computing activities for schools

In many schools, computing is a topic that needs more encouragement. The Playful Coding project wants to make practical activities that can be run in schools to explore ideas in computer science. I've just been along to one of their meetings and seen it in action. It was extremely inspiring to be in a room full of people who didn't see running computing engagement activities as a chore, but as fun. They had all put a lot of thought into making fun activities and all wanted to run their activities with the groups of children.

It's an EU project involving teachers and university researchers from Spain, Romania, Italy, France and us in Aberystwyth, Wales. Each project partner had developed several activities and the purpose of the meeting was to tested out many of these activities on children and their teachers, and to start to develop a guide for teachers to explain how to use them. Until that guide is produced, you can still browse the activities and have a go with them. Try out for example:
There are lots more activities to choose from. Some just take an hour, some take a day, and some span a term. Some use robots, some use no particular equipment. They can be embedded into other lessons (languages, maths, science, art), or just standalone. And they are adaptable for different age ranges.

To follow the project see the Playful Coding website, follow #playfulcoding on Twitter or find Playful Coding on Facebook.