Celebrate creating with code!

The fifth edition of EU Code Week will take place from 7 to 22 October 2017. Hundreds of thousands of people will be programming all over Europe. Schools, non-for profit organizations, businesses, libraries, code clubs are all busy organising coding events and showing people and peers how to bring ideas to life with code.

Programming or coding is a set of instructions that allow computers to work. With code you can create software, apps and websites. You can also programme mobile phones, your fridge or your car. Today 90% of all jobs require digital skills, but 44% of Europeans have none or low digital skills. Despite high unemployment levels in Europe there are today around 350,000 vacancies for ICT professionals.

EU Code Week is a movement run by volunteers and supported by the European Commission that encourage people to discover coding. The idea is to make programming more visible, to show young, adults and elderly how to create with code and let people discover tech in a fun and engaging way.

Over 80 volunteer Code Week Ambassadors coordinate the initiative in their countries. Everyone can organise events to show motivated people how to create their own app, program a robot or make whatever they dream of. If you can imagine it, coding can help you create it!

Coding actions for schools and teachers

EU Code Week has a special challenge for schools. If your school thinks it can get more than 50% of the school’s students doing some hands-on coding during Code Week – it can take part in the CodeWeek4all  challenge and be awarded a “Certificate of Excellence in Coding Literacy” at the beginning of 2018.

Another EU Code Week education project in the spotlight this year, is the eTwinning online community for European schools. The community will host a group called “Coding at school”. A webinar for teachers registered on the platform was held on 5 October 2017 to kick-off the group. It focused on the potential of coding as an instrument to develop and reinforce computational thinking skills as well as other academic uses of coding at school.Teachers interested in joining the eTwinning community can register their school..

Plenty of resources and lesson plans for teachers can be found on the EU Code Week resources page, which also hosts a number of links to material for individuals who want to learn programming.

#CodeHunting game

On Saturday 14 October between 11.00 and 13.00 CET the Code Week ambassadors will launch a pan-European #CodeHunting game. This is a group game played across different locations. Participants get to certain points in a city by solving a coding challenge. Keep an eye on the EU Code Week blog to find out more..

Other coding events in libraries, code clubs, organisations and companies

Many organisations, code clubs such as CoderDojo and companies organise events during EU Code Week. As in 2016, EU Code Week has partnered with the Public Libraries 2020 – a network of 65,000 public libraries, who will organise workshops in local libraries across Europe. Inspired by the EU Code Week and led by SAP, Africa Code Week and Latin Code Week will take place from 18 to 25 October in 35 African and 9 Latin American countries involving more than 500,000 young people in coding classes. Google has sponsored 60 Code Week events in 33 countries that will introduce 33,000 young people to coding and tech. Through the Meet and Code initiative, led by the German non-for profit IT organisation, Stifter-helfen together with SAP and TechSoup Europe, 490 events taking place during Code Week and involving more than 20,000 kids received grants of up to 500 EUR in 15 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine).

European Commission supports and celebrates Code Week

The European Commission supports EU Code Week as digital skills are a cornerstone of a well-functioning Digital Single Market. The Commission supports communication activities and manages the Code Week website and invites the Code Week ambassadors to two meetings per year but does not offer any other financial support.

Mariya Gabriel Commissioner for Digital Economy and society together with Tibor Navracsics Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports will  k[l]ick-off EU Code Week on 9 October 2017. They will participate in a hands-on coding and tech workshop coached by young people who have been enrolled in coding  training and boot camps in Belgium e.g. Le Wagon BruxellesBeCodeMolenGeekInterface3Techies LabKodo WallonieCode FeverDwengo and Digitale Wolven. During the workshop, the young coaches will show coding, robots and related hardware activities while helping the Commissioners write their first lines of code.

Useful links

EU Code Week map of #codeEU events

How to organise a #codeEU event

Free coding resources

CodeWeek4All challenge

Code Week news and blog posts

EU Code Week Twitter

EU Code Week Facebook

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8th annual OpenLivingLab Days

Giving participants insights about models, theories and technologies related to Living Labs in the field of smart cities, circular economy, IoT, health, education and societal innovation through interactive sessions, discussions &workshops.

OpenLivingLab Days 2017 (#OLLD17) is a 4-day event packed with dynamic workshops, demonstrations and showcases of the most impressive advances in the living lab field.

This year, you can follow topics on smart cities (green spaces, climate friendly solutions, transport, sustainable energy, climate-friendly solutions), circular economy, IoT, big data, health, living lab policy, education and societal innovationthrough:

 

27 WORKSHOPS

5 LOCAL CHALLENGES

4 PANEL DISCUSSIONS

3 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

3 INNOVATION & RESEARCH TRACKS

1 SOCIAL DINNER

 

Our event will once again bring the entire quadruple and multiple helix ecosystem together under one roof: businesses and scientists; academia and industry; makers, designers, researchers, public managers, city representatives, NGO activists and living lab visionaries from all over the world.

 

WEB: www.openlivinglabdays.com 

WHERE: Krakow, Poland

WHEN: 29 August – 1 September

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New Features of Create@School!

A new update of the Create@School app is now available on Google Play.
In this version the new features are as follows:

  • two new templates: Adventure RPG, Race simulation (the translation for Spanish/German will be in the next release)
  • improvements for accessibility settings:
    • large font improvements (e.g. within the settings)
    • fix help link for ev3 bricks (link to mediawiki)
  • tracking:
    • new tracking event: version code (so that we know which create@school version was used)
    • automatically logout non-NOLB users
  • bug fixes:
    • bug broadcast message-dialog
    • fix tilt sensor orientation on tablets > 10″

Download our Create@School from here.

Spain Success Story: How do wo rescue sharks in the sea ?

 

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States Need to Embrace Data-Driven Education

Measuring a student’s academic progress with valid, reliable data should go hand-in-hand with providing that child an education.

When it comes to education, we are living in the dark ages. Even as the technology-driven march of progress continues to reshape industries from automakers to financial service providers, the forces of innovation come to a screeching halt at the doors of most schools. Instead of using data to personalize instruction, most educators adopt a one-size-fits-all strategy that fails all but the most “average” child. Instead of using analytics to make schools more efficient, school administrators rely on intuition. And instead of implementing evidenced-based education policy, school boards merely follow tradition. As the Center for Data Innovation has written in a recent report, this needs to change, and making this change will require states to bring a new level of technological sophistication to their school systems.

Many parents, educators and policymakers have adopted an instinctual aversion to attempts to create a more data-driven education system. Much of this opposition is fueled by the assumption that increased reliance on data will simply drive educators to focus on helping students succeed at testing rather than at learning. In reality, data-driven education might be the very cure that schools need to avoid teaching to the test by eliminating high-stakes annual testing in favor of routine assessments of whether students have mastered specific concepts. But in a world where data-driven education is falsely equated with politically fraught programs like No Child Left Behind or Common Core, it is no surprise that all but the most courageous policymakers steer clear of these important initiatives. Instead, they are more likely to propose additional student data privacy rules, a typically meaningless gesture given existing rules, but one that erects additional barriers to collecting and using data in the classroom.

This should not be the case. After all, measuring a student’s academic progress with valid, reliable data should go hand-in-hand with providing that child an education. How can educators help students succeed if they do not know where they are struggling, where they are thriving and how they learn? While there is growing awareness that health care needs to be moving into a world of personalized medicine, where doctors treat patients based on how their individual genetics, lifestyle and environment shape their disease risk factors, few recognize the importance of creating an education system similarly designed to meet the unique needs of every child. And beyond personalized instruction, an increased used of data would enable schools to become more efficient and accountable.

Achieving this type of transformation will require schools to integrate new technologies, processes and training. Given that it has taken tens of billions of dollars in funds to incentivize doctors to adopt electronic health records and train them in how to use the technology, we should not expect to see a similar change in schools without a serious commitment of funding. While the federal government has provided grants for the development of statewide longitudinal data systems for student information, schools still need to adopt learning management systems to facilitate student instruction and assessment; backend databases to store the massive volume of data produced by these digital learning tools; and the front-end systems necessary to provide students, teachers, parents and administrators access to the relevant information.

Some states have been more ambitious than others about transforming their education system to better use data, but no state can do this alone. While states are going to be responsible for creating the tech infrastructure for data-driven education, it is the private sector that will ultimately develop many of the analytical tools that will make use of all the data. But these markets will only thrive with scale, which means states need to coordinate their efforts so that data collected in one state is compatible with data collected in another.

Education is due for a renaissance. If the future of education requires data, then state technology leaders will need to play a greater role in improving education. While this transition will not occur overnight, states should begin to look closely at how they can lay the foundation for greater use of data in education by modernizing their information systems, establishing national education data standards and changing the culture around data in the classroom.

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Samsung is joining No One Left Behind partner TU Graz/Catrobat in Game Jams across Austria

June till October 2016: Samsung and Catrobat roadshow in yellow school bus!

+Samsung and Catrobat: Bring yellow school bus to you to show and teach computational thinking skills to kids, using Pocket Code on smartphones and tablets.

The roadshow will run in cities all over Austria, Europe!

In case your school in Austria is interested in participating, there are still open slots! Details and registration form via http://coding.digitalebildung.at/

Details about the non-profit FOSS Catrobat project: http://www.catrobat.org/

Education site: http://education.catrobat.org/

Pocket Code on Google Play: http://catrob.at/pc

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The key to Break the ¨All Work No Play¨ Cycle

What is the life of first year students looks like? Standardised classes and standardised exams after classes. Solutions to problems are set. The line between right and wrong is clear. They need to recite, repeat and regurgitate facts to earn credits and pass the test. This worn out routine has bored students and generated huge amounts of class distractions, which have been exacerbated by the ubiquitous existence of smart devices. Kids are kept away from play since primary school.

This is not a healthy phenomenon, which has drawn the lots attention of social scientists, who come up with studies and conclusions saying ¨lack of childhood play can disrupt normal social, emotional, cognitive development¨. If left free, children will make their own rules, unleashing the boundless potential and innovation, which serves as a huge contribution to a structured gaming like sports and board games.

The process of game designing can be a leveraged as a process of kids learning from and getting to know each other better, thus improving their social and emotional development. But the benefits of letting kids play have not stopped there. It´s proved that the cognitive development can also be improved along the way. Children come out smarter after exploiting what´s behind the game, and how to design a game of their own because they are leveraging the power of their imagination, logics, critical thinking and computational skills. They also need to conquer challenges and obstacles in the way of playing. This process would prepare them better for the future adventure, and their readiness to accomplish tasks.

No One Left Behind, the co-funded EU Horizon 2020 project, is the kind of project that would break the boring circle of ¨all work and no play¨ by implementing all the benefits entailed with playing. Pocket Code special version provides the necessary supporting tool to bring back the play element in classes with curriculum related subject and learning platform.

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Our Project Officer visits No One Left Behind stand in ICT Lisbon 2015

The ICT event is the EU’s biggest digital research event organised by the European Commission. The iCT 2015 in Lisbon was a great opportunity to networking, follow interesting debates and hear the latest news on the EC’s new policies and initiatives.

Our project officer Evangelia Markidou visited our booth in ICT 2015 to know at first hand the latest developments of the project. During her visit our partner Wolfgang Slany from Graz University of Technology gave a demo and showed  the operation of the Pocket Code application and its interaction with the Phyro Robot.

Also Evangelia Markidou who was responsible for a network of 40 young students, researchers and innovators visited the stand with them and the students  enjoyed the demo showed during the exhibition.

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Evangelia Markidou a the NOLB booth

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