As part of National Digital Learning Week, we hosted our first Digital Skills meet up alongside CodeClub Scotland and Digital Dundee.
The event was aimed at exploring and sharing the work of educators in Scotland, pushing the boundaries of early computer science skills in education and beyond.
The meet up included presenters from a variety of sectors from business to education as well as private and public companies; it was fascinating to explore the progressive work that is being achieved.
Lesley Connor from Law Nursery and Judi Regan from Menzieshill Nursery, explored the passion that is being demonstrated when teaching coding processes and concepts to children as young as 3. Explaining how incorporating coding language into practise at an early stage has allowed children to understand the basic concepts, making it less overwhelming and easier to understand.
We were then introduced to the “Code-a-pillar”, a fantastic tool that allows children to understand the basic principles of computational thinking. The children could change the order of the segments of the code-a-pillar to correctly match the instructions (forward, left, right, music) to demonstrate an understanding of an action and consequence.
Familiarising children with digital skills at an early age allows them to develop their planning and organisation skills benefiting them at later stages of learning.
Lorna Gibson shared her insight on the incredible work being done with Code Club Scotland, who provide free coding clubs for children between the ages of 9 - 11 The children are encouraged to explore the basics of coding concepts without having to worry about their spelling and grammar. This reinforces the basic principles of coding, reducing the learning curve. Kerry from RaspiKidd explained some of the additional activities being arranged across Scotland which is fantastic for teaching digital skills to future generations.
Our friends at Rosebank Primary showed us the amazing work they are doing as a star code club. Their engagement and achievements with computer science throughout the school are outstanding. We are set to welcome them as winners of the Dundee schools Game Jam in the coming weeks, where they will experience all aspects of the roles available to them in the games sector.
Louise Foreman from the Education Scotland Digital Skills team shared the work that has been completed over the past 2 years to introduce digital skills into teaching curriculums across Scotland.
A Computing Science National standard has been agreed and implemented facilitating a new vocabulary of digital literacy to children which transfers not just to coding practises but also to develop their critical thinking and understanding of the world.
Kelly Macdonald from Harris Academy, wowed us with the school’s work in engaging future developers by participating in Lego leagues, hosting young engineer and science clubs, working with robotics and an inspiring mentoring scheme that utilises their senior pupil’s skills to teach others.
The evening was round off with Emma, our HR and Recruitment Manager, sharing the world of Outplay with the group and showcasing the variety of opportunities there are in games sector for this generation of learners.
The skills meet up was a fantastic opportunity to see such ambition and hard work being carried out. It is an exciting prospect to think of the talent that projects such as those mentioned, will bring to the industry in future.
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