Early Mastery/Playful Coding/Learn2code and Code2learn

I have been remiss in keeping up my blog, and realise I have about 8 things I should write about. So I am going to do a post a day, catching up with things chronologically. Today: an EU project, and a kick off meeting, only about 3 months late.

A few years ago Jordi Freixenet visited Aberystwyth. He’s a computer vision guy, and he does lots of schools outreach, so we got along fairly well and decided to put in an EU grant to do schools stuff. This got knocked back, revised, resubmitted, … lather rinse repeat … and finally, this year, we got the funding. Split between four or five unis, a bunch of schools, and a startup, we have an ERASMUS+ project.

The current incarnation is smaller than our original ambition, and is mostly to do with sharing good practice and with networking. But it’s still a grant, and it’s going to help Girona and Aberystwyth to do some cool stuff together, along with colleagues in France (Bourgogne), Romania (Craiova), Italy (Perugia). Each site is a University linked to a nearby school, and our school partner is Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, in Machynlleth.

Back in March we went out to Girona for the kick off meeting – Tomi (head of ICT from Bro Hyddgen) and I spent a lot of time on trains, planes, taxis, buses, and eventually ended up in the University of Girona talking about kids and tech and playful coding opportunities. Here’s Jordi and Xavi from Girona, and a picture of Seymour Papert.

The two day meeting was a mixture of talks, introductions, and visits to schools. The plan for the project is to collect together ideas about what is good for teaching kids to code, and helping kids to experiment with code, and generally doing creative and playful computing. Once we’ve got this stuff together, we’ll evaluate it and share it on a platform.

Our platform already has a couple of posts on it, and it’s going to grow into a useful resource. www.playfulcoding.eu.

Here’s a couple of snaps from inside Girona primary schools, including a rare siting of the Scratch cat in the wild:

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