Enhancing coding skills in European schools
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2017
In the global society, education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are intimately connected. Technology is evolving at such a pace that digital literacy is a growing issue to be addressed by all sectors of the society. Development and sustainability in this global society, is only possible with informed consumers’ and a good digital task force.
Professionals of the 21st century think and act differently than those of previous centuries, due at least in part to the radically different tools they use to perform their jobs. (Ertmer&Ottenbreit-Leftwitch, 2010).
As about 90% of European jobs require ICT skills, and yet there will be 900’000 unfilled ICT positions in the EU by 2020, it is crucial to invest in projects that enhance student’s digital literacy. It is important to prepare young students for a digital society, upcoming digital jobs, to gain the skills and confidence they need to use digital technology, not only to support their learning but also in their future workplace, enabling next generations to be more proactive and active agents when interacting with technologies, with the purpose to use it in a responsible and beneficial way for society.
Furthermore, less than 15% of European students have access in school to high-level ICT teaching. Even when students have access to the right technology, there is no guarantee that they will be taught properly how to use it. In most EU countries, fewer than 30% of children aged 10-15 are taught by “digitally confident” teachers. So, it is important to provide easy to use guides to help teachers to proper teach code in a way that engage students to design, create and express themselves through digital technologies. And this designing and creation process can highly be enhanced by the teaching of code at schools. Coding represents one of the key competences that must be acquired by all young students in the scope of 21st Century Skills. Coding is the art of telling a computer how to perform complex tasks. Once students know how to code, they can create virtual worlds within the computer where the only limit on what is possible to do is their imagination.
Thus, coding is an emerging globally priority, but much remains to be done in Europe, especially concerning the need to promote real initiatives that can support coding activities in schools.
In this context, the Junior Code Academy emerges within start-ups and wants to offer an innovative and engaging training approach to coding, seeking to enhance learning and to identify concrete ways of how innovative pedagogic use of ICT can help, particularly to motivate and to attract potential dropouts back to educational system and to be actively involved in learning. It is therefore important to explore the potential of ICT and computer programming, transforming it into a powerful tool that provides a motivational learning environment to young students.
With Junior Code Academy we intend to put this power into the hands and hearts of the students. In detail, the project mission is to expand the minds of young students (10-15 years old) and provide them with the right set of tools and skills to meet the needs of tomorrow, implementing a learning strategy under the scope of the demands of 21st century key competences, such as logical reasoning and problem solving.
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