My first experience with the CodeWeek4All Challenge
Publication date: January 14, 2020
By Fátima, Code Week Teacher in Portugal
My name is Fátima, a Portuguese Teacher of Lower Secondary Students and Grown-Ups. My school is near Sintra in a very difficult social and economic “underprivileged” area, which is about 20 km away from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.
I received the information about the Deep Dive online course through a colleague from the local council, who knows I enjoy “challenges” and so I enrolled in this course and started reading all about it.
At the very beginning, I was scared as I knew nothing about coding or computational thinking and I am not an IT teacher – I am an English teacher working with 7th graders.
At first, I wasn’t quite aware of what it meant to be part of the Code Week 4 All Challenge and registered an activity with a new code, as well as another one with my moderator’s code. Later on, I tried to understand what the Code Week 4 All Challenge was all about and read everything about it. It didn’t seem too difficult, so I posted two messages on EU Code Week Teachers FB
group in order to find some teachers who were willing to cooperate. Many teachers replied positively to my request straight away and started registering activities using the Code cw19-817eV.
After a while, other colleagues started contacting me through the EU Code Week Teachers FB group or through private messages. I tried to help them as best as I could. I also contacted some teachers who just said “hi” to my post through private message and I explained to them that we could all benefit if we all registered our activities with the same code, in order to meet all
requirements and be given the Certificates of Excellence.
Then I posted a message with the activity’s registration print screens (two of them), explaining how they could register the activity using the same code. Soon after that, I also asked them to send me a proof that they had registered the activity correctly, which they did, so I knew that there were about twenty colleagues using that code. I was quite happy that it was so successful!
Later on, once in a while, I contacted these teachers privately, in order to find out how everything was going, and if my help was needed in any way (even though I was a first-time participant myself) and to my surprise, some of them spread the word along and they also got other teachers involved.
Step by step, our alliance became a super alliance!
Suddenly, one colleague posted a message on the EU Code Week Teachers Facebook group thanking me for having encouraged so many teachers and having involved so many different countries all over the world. I was amazed and quite positively surprised to see that 15 different countries and 54 activities registered with the same code.
It encouraged me to post a message thanking all the colleagues who had cooperated with me. That is when I understood that more than 59 activities had been registered with this code.
In short, participating in the Code Week 4 All Challenge was really exciting and important to me. I developed new skills as I learnt how to Code using different activities, the students had a great time and all of that in spite of being a teacher for over thirty years now, which means that new technologies aren’t my “comfortable working area”.
In the end, I’m happy that I did it, and thank you for reading my experience!