Coding in school

In July 2013, I began a lunch time KodeKlub for our primary students (aged between 8-12 years). With the increasing popularity of coding in schools I have decided to share my journey.

For the first 12 months the club as been by invitation only. I have taken recommendations from teachers and from club members. My reasoning for having an invitation only club was:
  1. Existing lunchtime computer clubs, in my school, can attract in excess of 50 students and this was too many for one person.
  2. I wanted to maintain a small club to build my skills.
The students who attended the club were already interested in technology and some had experience in coding. They were very interested in building websites using HTML.

I began by introducing students to codeacademy.com, students used their school issued gmail to signup. The first tutorials they completed were on HTML.

In the past 12 months we have progressed beyond tutorials to self organised learning and personal interest projects.

During our one hour a week students have had the following projects:
  • Game development using Kodu
  • Android app development
  • Experimentation with Java and Minecraft plugins
  • Projects with Pencilcode.net
  • Webpage development using HTML
Next term I plan to implement a second club for beginners, this will be open to all students to request membership. 

Currently my club is predominantly boys with only 2 of 15 being girls. My main goal is to increase the number of girls learning to code.

The tools I plan use are 

I plan to include these tools as they are visual tools that include graphics, art and music and I believe these may be more appealing to girls.

I am hoping to use the existing KodeKlub students as Techsperts and encourage them to mentor others to enable me to have more students participate.

I would also like to maintain the Personal Interest Projects and self organised learning model as this has been a valuable experience for both the students and myself.

My school blog as more links to student projects and various blogs for my different projects. You can find it here. The KodeKlub Blog is written predominantly by students.