Code Week 2020 Course: Development of programming, robotics and computational thinking activities in Zafra, Spain

by Francisco Javier Masero Suárez, Code Week leading teacher in Spain

From October 13 to 21, a training activity was held at the Centro de Profesores y de Recursos de Zafra that aimed to make the Code Week initiative known to teachers in Extremadura (Spain). It was organized by Francisco Javier Masero Suárez, Educational Technologies advisor and Code Week Leading Teacher.

 

 

The objectives established within the course were the following:

  1. Get to know the EU Code Week initiative, which aims to bring coding and digital literacy to everyone in a fun and engaging way.
  2. Learn to upload activities to the platform to disseminate and publicize the events held.
  3. Participate in the robotics and programming activities proposed by the Zafra CPR.
  4. Know the offer of training activities that are proposed from Code Week.

 

Additionally, the participants discussed the following topics:

  • Code Week 2020: development of activities in the classroom.
  • Introduction to educational robotics.
  • Computational thinking and problem-solving.
  • Activities with robots.
  • Coding without digital technology (analogue).
  • Projects and good practices of educational centres in relation to robotics and programming.

 

Due to the pandemic and the measures taken to stop its spreading, the format of the activity had to be changed from face-to-face to online. A total of four 2-hour videoconference sessions were held using the Google Meet tool. In the first three sessions, the speakers presented the Code Week initiative and their best practices. In the final session, a round table was held, where the participants had the opportunity to present their projects related to robotics and computational thinking in the classroom.

 

 

In the first session of this Code Week 2020 course, we had Isabel Blanco @isabelbp, Leading Teacher and expert in the use of @escornabot in the classroom. In the first part, she made the introduction to the initiative, showing the different sections of the website: how to access the resources and learning bits, where to download the toolkits for publicity and dissemination, how to add an event to the activities map … In the second part, he described his experience with the Educational Robotics projects at the Ben-Cho-Shey Plurilingual CEIP (Ourense, Galicia), paying special attention to the activities carried out with Escornabot, a robot created in Galicia which is having great application in the educational field. You can access the presentation through the following link (in Spanish).

 

 

We were extremely lucky to have the presence of Tommaso Dalla Vecchia @tommaso_eun and Naír Carrera @Na_carrera at the opening of the course, which allowed us to connect with the Code Week team in Brussels. It was a very good experience that helped us overcome the barriers of distance and be able to share good moments with the Spanish teachers.

In the second session of the course at @CPR_Zafra, we had a guest speaker, Guillermo Medrano @GmedranoTIC, Professor of Secondary and Professional Training at C.P.C. Los Boscos de Logroño (La Rioja), eTwinning Ambassador and Future Classroom Lab Ambassador, who shared with us a vision of the resources and tools that he uses with his students.

 

 

Guillermo gave us an excellent sample of the activities that can be carried out in the classroom: conductive play dough, unplugged printer, Scratch with webcam, coding 3d pieces …

 

You can access this presentation through the following link or view it below (in English / Spanish):

 

 

In the third session, we had the pleasure of having a teacher from our area as a speaker: Juan Enrique Agudo Garzón @JEnriqueAgudo is Professor of computer systems and applications at Suárez de Figueroa High School, as well as Coordinator of the Innovated Program and a participating teacher in RoboReto 2020. He told us about his experience in Codeweek and the projects of his high school, paying special attention to the use of drones in the classroom.

 

 

Their participation in Code Week began in 2015 and in these years they have managed to increase their students’ interest in robotics and programming thanks to introductory activities like coding with Minecraft or programming in Python. They have also developed projects such as CITE STEAM Robotic or CITE Colaborativo MeteoHuerto. His current projects focus on the use of Escornabot and Drones, showing the great interest that students have shown for these devices. You can access your presentation through the following link.

 

 

In the fourth and last session of the #CodeWeek2020 course, Francisco Javier Masero @fmasero, ICT advisor of CPR Zafra and Code Week Leading Teacher, moderated a round table with the speakers @isabelbp, @JEnriqueAgudo and @GmedranoTIC who discussed the following questions:

 

  1. How did you find out about Code Week? What relationship do you have with this initiative (an ambassador, leading teacher, organising teacher)?
  2. What do you like most about Code Week? What would you highlight from what it offers (advertising of activities, online training, learning bits)?
  3. If you had to encourage a teacher to get started in robotics and computational thinking, what tool or application would you recommend? What is your star resource?
  4. What projects are you going to put into operation this year or for the future?

Later, the teachers participating in the course were able to present their experiences and good practices in educational robotics and programming, showing great projects that they have developed in the community of teachers in this region.

Finally, I would like to thank Eugenia Casariego @eugenia_eun, a member of the Code Week team, who closed the course. She allowed us to connect the teachers of Extremadura with the Brussels team, who noted all the feedback of the teachers when participating in this initiative.

 

 

If you want to know more about the activities carried out in CPR Zafra, you can contact Francisco Javier Masero by email or visit this website.