As in previous years, I decided to take part in the Code.org #HourOfCode with my classes this year. If you’ve not heard of the HourOfCode before have a look at the video below.
Through Twitter I got in touch with the Faculty Head of ICT at St Louis School of Milan who had ambitious plans to link international classrooms together during the HourOfCode week. After a few Google Hangouts to discuss the plans we were ready to go. We all made introduction videos which were to be played to the other classrooms at the beginning of the period, after this we had a live link up between the classes.
The students at my school were definitely a bit on the shy side compared with those in Milan, however they enjoyed answering questions from the pupils at St Louis, and were really interested to hear about the multi-national classes in Milan.
Having seen how seamless the Hangout was, I’ve now got big plans to extend the use of Google Hangouts in the school. My first step is to get the school signed up to a Google Apps for Education account and issue all pupils & staff with a Google Account. Once that’s done I’d love to have regular hangouts with classrooms around the world as well as experts in various curricular areas.
#HourOfCode is an initiave that I’d heard of, but never really paid any great attention to, partly due to the fact that programming is already pretty embeded into the Scottish Computing curriculum. It launched in 2013 and asked teachers, schools, even full districts to pledge to do a 1 hour long session of coding through a variety of different activities. You can find out more by watching the video below.
I decided that this year I’d give it a go with a couple of classes and contacted Ian; it seems like a nice way to push our International Education links – we already have existing links with schools in Tianjin, China and Donkorkrom, Ghana. You can read Ian’s blog post about the event over on his blog.
The classes that I’ve picked out seem really interested in the project, particularly with the chance to link up with a classroom in another country.
I’ll be sharing my experience of the event here after the live link up on the 11th of December and (fingers crossed) provided it all goes to plan I’ll be on the look out for other opportunities to link up with classes in other cities & countries.