Coding… What a Passion!

Publication date: May 24, 2024

Maria Giovanna Battaglia, primary school teacher, digital animator, and EU Code Week lead teacher writes about an event at her school – Portella della Ginestra Comprehensive Institute Vittoria in Sicily.

Recently, two editions of the “Local Teacher Trainer Course” supported by EU Code Week concluded at our school. This training represented a significant professional growth opportunity for 25 teachers from nursery, primary, and lower secondary school levels, including religion teachers. These teachers embarked on a journey to learn the basics of coding and how to integrate it into their daily lessons, fostering synergies and collaborations.

About the event

To kick off the event, I sent a motivational email highlighting the importance of preparing our students for the challenges of modern society. I proposed a programme starting with resources from the EU Code Week website and experimenting with coding on the platform. Simultaneously, teachers participated in practical and interactive activities , learning about how to integrate programming into the curriculum. We enriched the experience with Tinkercad for 3D printing, sparking creativity and interest among participants.

The event focused on teaching the basics of coding to teachers and integrating it into daily lessons. We explored tools like Scratch,, and other educational digital resources. Special attention was given to generative AI, a technology that both fascinates and intimidates, yet offers significant value for professional development and meets the needs of the new generation.

The event was held on the school premises, including a classroom and the school’s FabLab, using the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model. To accommodate teachers’ work schedules, the two editions were held at different times, allowing everyone to participate without stress. The blended learning path included 10 hours in person, 5 hours via MeetCalls, and 10 hours of independent work, with my support available on request.

Over 25 teachers from various grades and subjects participated. We had the honour of hosting Alessandro Bogliolo, Code Week ambassador, in a MeetCall, who further stimulated participants’ interest in programming and new teaching methodologies. Arjana, Eugenia, and Eirini from the EU Code Week central team also contributed their experiences and skills, enriching the event.

We used a standard classroom equipped with a touchscreen and the school’s FabLab with a 3D printer and a stable internet connection. Each lab session had specific objectives and supporting materials like digital tutorials and video guides. Teachers were provided with free links and easy-to-use apps for teaching. “Show and demonstrate” sessions featured technologies like Makey Makey and Micro:Bit, as well as AR and VR . These hands-on experiences helped participants understand the potential of such technologies in teaching.

Notable Results

One of the most meaningful outcomes was seeing teachers create their first coding projects using Scratch. Many were initially sceptical but ended the course being enthusiastic about their new skills. Another significant achievement was the collaborative development of a lesson plan integrating coding, ready for classroom use. The interest in AI and 3D printing was particularly high, promising future educational innovation.


Replicating Our Approach

To replicate our success, here are some suggestions:

  • Understand the School Environment: Analyse the context and identify teachers’ training needs through a survey to tailor the training offer.
  • Thorough Preparation: Plan the event well in advance, with clear objectives and well-defined steps for each session.
  • Accessible Materials: Use free, intuitive software like Scratch and to facilitate quick and easy learning.
  • Expert Support: Engage educational technology experts to provide inspiration and support.
  • Collaborative Environment: Foster collaboration and experience-sharing among participants to build a mutual support network.

A tremendous success

Participants initially approached the training with some trepidation about coding. However, with support, they overcame their insecurities, created educational games with Scratch, and discovered new educational possibilities. An essential part of the course was building a web page to share valuable teaching experiences using tools like Adobe Express. This digital platform allowed teachers to showcase innovative activities and involve parents in the educational process.

The training course supported by EU Code Week was a tremendous success, demonstrating that even teachers without prior experience can learn and teach coding. They acquired the tools to offer innovative digital education. We hope this experience inspires other schools and organisations to promote educational innovation through coding.