EU Code Week – Code it Local in Perama

by Maria Tsapara, PhD Candidate, Early Childhood Educator, Leading Teacher EU Code Week, Scientix Ambassador, ICT Trainer, Certified Educator STEAM/robotics  and Anthi Arkouli, Early Childhood Educator, Trainer, Certified Educator STEAM/robotics

 

The EU Code Week  – Code it Local[1] is an initiative that we organised with the support of the EU Code Week team in Greece and  in collaboration with the Creativity, Innovation and Technology in Education Lab of the University of Western Macedonia supervised by Professor Tharrenos Bratitsis.

Code it Local aims to train kindergarten teachers from Greece, on a local level, cultivate skills related to computational thinking, educational robotics and programming, and help them build their confidence on different approaches to teach coding in their classroom, while exchanging useful practices and learning about the European Code Week.

The 1st Code it Local was held in Perama, Greece and was a 6-day blended learning training course in November to December 2021. Fifteen kindergarten teachers had the chance to participate in a 15-hour training supported by the municipality of Perama.

The course included 9 hours of instruction, and 6 hours of individual work. There were  two online  sessions,  two face to face sessions and  two asynchronous sessions. All sessions were held in Greek.

Code it Local in Perama

Online Sessions

Ιn the first online session, the trainers presented the programme of the training course and “housekeeping rules”. Participants also had the opportunity to get to know each other better through different “ice-breaker activities”. The trainers familiarised the participants with the European Code Week initiative, the importance of computational thinking and how to implement unplugged activities in their classrooms.

Ice-breaker activities

 

 Learning about EU Code Week                     Unplugged activities in the kindergarten  

 

Our guest speaker Spitsa Katerina presented the Lego Coders project, inspiring the educators with her well-organised and innovative activities. At the end of the session, participants did a hands-on activity by creating DIY Robot Hands from paper, straws, and string, a simple and inventive engineering activity.

       

The Lego Coders Project by Katerina Spitsa            Unplugged activities in the kindergarten                            

 

In the second online session participants had the opportunity to learn more about the European Code Week Facebook group and website. Moreover, they gained a better knowledge of the importance of coding activities and the implementation of the programmable floor robot bee bot  in the classroom.

  

The EU Code Week Platform                             Implemented the educational robot bee bot in kindergarten

 

Also, our motivated colleague Kalliopi Papoutsaki  with her exquisite presentation “Once upon a time with a Bee bot as a guide’’, managed to inspire us with her great ideas and activities! In the end participants learned about bee bot emulator, while they had time to get practice in a breakout session with their colleagues.

Once upon a time with a Beebot as a guide            The bee bot emulator

by Kalliopi Papoutsaki

Face to face sessions

During the training course the educators had the chance to participate in two face-to-face sessions.

In the first  session the participants had fun, cultivated skills and practiced the tools and methodologies they learned about in the first online session.

They familiarised themselves with pixel art activities and other unplugged activities.

The trainers presented activities without robotic equipment (unplugged), while participants collaborated in teams, designed and presented their own unplugged activities.

In the second  session, trainers empowered the participants to learn through practice. They had time to experiment with the programmable Bee bot floor robot.

The trainers presented the eTwinning  programme ‘Schools defenders of the Earth: Think global – act local’, in order for the participants to realise that coding can be implemented everywhere. Participants being creative, they collaborated and organised coding activities by combining storytelling and coding. They created grids and programmed the educational robot Bee Bot, in order to narrate their collaborative story.

Asynchronous sessions

Participants, inspired by the presentations and workshops during the training course, had to plan two activities, working in small groups or individually. The activities were uploaded in EU Code Week’s map of events, implemented in their classrooms and added to the EU Code Week 4 all challenge.

Participants discovered tools and methodologies in the education technology field, got inspired in coding, found out educational practices in order to adopt them in their classrooms. They also developed skills and acquired knowledge and got inspired to participate in EU Code Week 2021 initiative by adding their activities in the map. Finally, they formed a learning community and had the opportunity to collaborate in the future.

Once again, we want to thank the European Code Week team for the inspiration and the support.

 

Our learning journey does not stop here. We are looking forward to the new learning experiences around Greece. New destinations on the way!!!!!!

 

[1] https://codeitlocal.weebly.com/