Crana College exploring code for CodeWeek.EU

Publication date: November 17, 2016

In September Crana College took the innovative step to include coding on the curriculum for its incoming First Year students. Since September, all First Year students have been exploring the
world of coding and learning how being able to write computer code helps them to make sense of how things work, explore ideas and make things, for both work and play. What’s more the course has helped students to unleash their creativity and work collaboratively with students in their classes and indeed all over the world.

To celebrate the introduction of coding in Crana College Mr. Thomas Boyle, the school’s Technology teacher, had an official launch of the new course during EU Code Week which happened Monday 17th to Friday 21st October.

Crana College was a fun-filled hive of activity all week with Google and Intel supported Coding events taking place every day throughout the week.




Cornflakes and coding

The events started off on Monday morning with an Intel sponsored session “Cornflakes and Coding” workshop at 8:30am before school had even started.  Students programmed with a coding language called Python to complete a coding challenge while enjoying a free breakfast.

LYIT lecturer Nigel McKelvey

Students were treated to a session with Nigel McKelvey from Letterkenny Institute of Technology.  Nigel is a lecturer in the Computing Department specialising in secure programming, performance based programming as well as legal studies and ethics.



Nigel spoke to students about his life as a programmer and outlined the evolution of computing in recent times and how the next generation of developers will shape industry and life in general.


Exploring code supported by Google

The main event was a full day of Exploring code supported by Google through the CodeWeek.EU grant. Students spent the day exploring coding, computer science, exploring their digital world
around them in class workshops. Practical computing workshop; Introducing students to physical computing with the Raspberry Pi 3. Students will set up their Raspberry Pi computer whilst carrying out different computing tasks using the CamJam Edu Kits in groups throughout the day. Experience physical computing with the help of lots of flashing LEDs.




One of Two Schools in Donegal

Principal of Crana College, Kevin Cooley had this to say – “The idea of students learning computer programming in schools is a topical educational issue in Ireland at the minute but our
decision to introduce coding as a course on our Junior Cycle curriculum was based on much more than that.

Our school was one of only two in Donegal chosen to deliver the new pilot ‘Exploring Coding’ for the New Junior Cycle short course and we are privileged to have one of only three teachers in Ireland appointed as Associate Advisor for Coding, Thomas Boyle, running the pilot course in Crana College.“

“At Crana College we strongly believe in giving our students the opportunity to study coding. We do not want to produce a class full of coders but we do want our students to learn coding, team work, communication and computational thinking. These skills are essential in the world that is full of technology.”

“Crana College students will have the opportunity to at least become aware of coding and computational thinking, even if they don’t go on to become programmers. The most important thing is being able to have the choice, and it should be the same with learning about code.”

By Thomas Boyle, Technology/Coding Teacher, Crana College