TACCLE3 - Coding
The demand for ICT professionals continues to grow. European Commission estimates that there will be 700 000 unfilled vacancies for ICT practitioners in the EU by the year 2016. Of all job vacancies in ICT, computer programmers are the most in demand. Despite this skills shortage, there has been a limited response from the European education system. Estonia has already introduced computer programming for all ages across the school curriculum, Denmark partially so. Others are about to introduce it (such as England in 2014) and others are considering it (e.g Finland, Ireland). In other countries, whilst not part of the compulsory curriculum, there are agencies and individual teachers who are trying to introduce programming into the classroom. It seems inevitable is that all member states must surely move in this direction if they are to meet the skills demands of the European economy. The biggest problem we face is a desperate shortage of teachers. Mathematics and computer-science graduates generally choose more lucrative trades; the humanities and social-science graduates who will find themselves teaching coding will need plenty of support as will the primary teachers.
The project aims are:
- To encourage and support teachers to introduce coding, programming and / or computational thinking as part of the curriculum in the 4 – 14 classroom to better equip pupils to develop the skills needed by the European labour market.
- To broaden teachers' digital skills base and enhance their professional competence
- To show how entrepreneurial skills can be developed and integrated with programming skills
The project objectives are:
- To produce an online support package of ideas, activities, materials and downloadable resources for teachers who are teaching coding or programming or who want to.
- To provide CPD courses in a variety of formats and a template and materials for local delivery.
- To establish a dialogue between teachers and programmers, teachers and resource producers, teachers and organisations involved in teaching coding and to act as an agency for exchanges of curricula, ideas and practice.
The project will:
- Develop a website of activities and ideas that teachers can use in the classroom to teach children about coding and programming. These will support diverse curricula across member states and, where there is no formal curriculum, support individual schools and teachers who want to introduce computing / informatics / programming etc in their own practice.
- Develop some affordable resource kits that can be downloaded or for which instructions for making them can be provided online. This could result in selling the resource kits after the project as part of the exploitation and sustainability.
- Design and pilot some staff development opportunities and learning resources for teachers who are total newcomers to programming.
- Stimulate a positive attitute towards STEM with young children
- Test and evaluate existing resources such as the range of software currently available to help children develop programming skills.
- Explore and follow up existing research and projects addressing this issue (e.g work on Tangible User Interface for children.)
- Enter into policy dialogue and inform policy in countries around issues concerning the teaching and learning of programming in schools
- HET GEMEENSCHAPSONDERWIJS (Belgium, co-ordinator)
- Pontydysgu Ltd (UK)
- Scholengroep 1 Antwerpen (Belgium)
- The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
- The Information Technology Foundation for Education HITSA (Estonia)
- University of Tallinn (Estonia)
- University of Salamanca (Spain)
- Aalto University (Finland)
Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships, 279 940 € (UEF share 25 431 €), 2015-2017
Dr. Ilkka Jormanainen, ilkka.jormanainen (at) uef.fi