Publication date: December 29, 2022
By Danijela Maurac, EU Code Week Leading Teacher in Croatia
I have always considered that increasing and developing pupils’ ecological awareness is – or should be – one of the priorities for every teacher; for that, amongst many other reasons, I strongly support projects such as Code Week, which are based on eco principles, and are a great way to encourage pupils to become more responsible citizens while respecting the annual curriculum.
Living greenely 3, is one of the so called “eTwinning projects”: it belongs, together with many others, to a group of activities carried out in cooperation with partner schools, that are competing for recycling, planning, and creating digital books about animals, plants, quizzes, videos, posters, etc., with the final objective of giving pupils the invaluable opportunity to gain new knowledge in all STEM fields in a more creative way and while having fun! This year, I volunteered with other teachers of my schools to participate to Code Week with this project, sharing materials and resources on Padlett with the rest of the Community, schools and pupils and allow them to use these.
We believe that coding is a very powerful and meaningful tool for everyone, but especially for pupils, who can have fun implementing it through games they develop themselves, while improving ICT competences and digital thinking. Coding can be applied to many topics and all stages of teaching, and I am very happy to be able to use it in project teaching.
The ultimate goal of our workshop was to write encrypted eco-messages using various codes such as Pigpen, Atbash and Tap code, and work in the digital tool PixilArt where pupils could create pictures with pixels, as this is a digital tool that allows the user to paint the desired motif using pixels (squares). This activity helped pupils understand what a pixel is, what it is its role is in digital photography, and how images can be created using pixels.
The workshop was designed so that pupils could write encrypted eco messages and decipher those posted by pupils from other schools as well. After encryption and decryption, some posters were also designed with the Canva tool, showcasing and promoting the importance of preserving the planet Earth, throught pictured created in PixilArt. One one the examples they showed, was how to use PixilArt during a Climate Action Project that took place last November: for this project we asekd their partners from Abu Dhabi to cooperate with us, and a great partnership came out of this, allowing us to spread the coding values and messages beyond the borders of Europe.
Pupils enjoyed every bit of the workshop, and they are already looking forward to attending other eco activities, projects and future green challenges.