EU Code Week Community Meeting: empowering teachers and students for a digital future

Publication date: March 31, 2023

The EU Code Week Community held its first meeting after the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on 16-17 March 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting aimed to reflect on the actions and priorities of Code Week 2023. More than 50 members of the Code Week community, including Ambassadors, Leading Teachers, and Edu Coordinators, attended the meeting. The Head of Unit of Interactive Technologies, Digital for Culture and Education of DG Connect in European Commission, Rehana Schwinninger-Ladak, also welcomed the participants via a video message and reiterated the Commission’s firm support for the Code Week initiative and its decision to continue funding for the future. 

On the first day of the meeting, Ioannis Gaviotis, member of the EU Code Week coordination team at the European Commission, presented the results of the 10th Edition of Code Week, and the meeting participants explored Code Week data from across EU Member States and Western Balkans. Alessandro Bogliolo, EU Code Week Ambassadors Coordinator, also presented the findings of an analysis on how Code Week reaches out to underserved communities, which revealed that there is a negative correlation between income and the penetration of Code Week in participating countries. The EU Code Week Team also took the opportunity to announce that the Code Week Community received an award from for their achievements. 

Reflecting on the past, planning for the future 

During an icebreaker session at the meeting, Community Members had the opportunity to meet each other and discuss last year’s Code Week edition. Afterwards, the EU Code Week Team presented the upcoming activities planned for the 11th edition of Code Week. Code Week Ambassadors, Edu Coordinators and Leading Teachers reflected on which activities are having a strong impact, as well as which areas need to be improved. 

An EU Code Week 2023 Activities padlet was created, where Code Week Community Members can find information on upcoming activities. This will help Code Week Ambassadors and Leading Teachers to organise their actions for Code Week 2023. The Code Week Ambassadors, Leading Teachers and Edu Coordinators then split into groups for a breakout discussion, the main findings from which were later shared in the plenary session. The first day of the meeting ended with a networking dinner. 

On the second day of the meeting, Alain Van Driessche, Information Systems Architect at the European Commission, DG CNECT, gave a short presentation on the website and the badges system, and Community Members suggested changing the name of Code Week influencers to educational influencers, a poll was created allowing the community to vote. The Code Week Community also shared their announcements and participated in a communication training. Additionally, the EU Code Week Team created a survey where Community Members could indicate the activities they would like to take part in during EU Code Week 2023. 

Code Week Community members agreed that their cooperation boosts and consolidates Code Week, and the Code Week team created a diagram presenting the correlations between the Community groups and how they can collaborate with each other. Finally, the meeting ended with hands-on workshops on micro:bit and Hedy. 

Boosting digital literacy across Europe 

The Community Meeting was an exciting start to EU Code Week 2023, with a focus on building digital skills among students and teachers. The actions that are being organised will play an important role in continuing the efforts to boost digital literacy across Europe. One such action is the EU Code Week Academy, which will be implemented at national and pan-European level. This initiative, supported by the ongoing efforts of the Code Week Community Groups, aims to bring coding and digital literacy closer to students and teachers. 

Another important step is the effort to build strong national Code Week teams among Ambassadors, Leading Teachers, and Edu Coordinators. Engaging National Ministries of Education in Code Week initiatives is also crucial to the success of the programme. Finally, improving the visibility of Code Week through ongoing collaboration with the Code Week Communications Team is another key area of focus. 

We want to thank the Code Week community for their active participation in the Community Meeting and their ongoing support for Code Week initiatives. We look forward to continuing working together to build digital skills and promote coding and digital literacy across Europe. Let’s keep up the momentum and make Code Week 2023 a success!