Free and flexible – building your skills with our FutureLearn courses

Thousands of Code Club volunteers and educators give their time each week to help young people learn coding and digital making skills, but what about growing your own skills? Our free online courses from Raspberry Pi, using the FutureLearn platform are an easy and flexible way to learn in your own time.

Short on time? Learn online

One of the joys of learning online is versatility. Learning isn’t confined to a classroom but can be done in your garden at the weekend, or with a cup of tea over your lunch break, at a time that suits you.

In 2017 the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched a series of free online courses, to give educators the opportunity to build their digital skill set. Each course, hosted on the FutureLearn platform, is written by our team of UK-based educators and contains helpful videos, tips, and advice on your chosen digital topic. Learning is collaborative, with courses featuring multiple discussion points where learners ask questions and share their thoughts.

So far, more than 27000 people have trained on one of our FutureLearn courses, including many Code Club leaders from across the world.   

And don’t forget, for educators based in the UK, these courses can also help you work towards your National Centre for Computing Education certificate.

Get involved

There are lots of courses for you to try, whatever your current level of experience. Here are some highlights we think would be useful for any Code Club leader or volunteer:  

And there’s more! If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, there are even more courses for you to try on more advanced topics, from Demystifying Computation to Object Oriented programming.

Learn new skills, pursue your interests, or advance your career by signing up for one of our free online courses. Head on over to FutureLearn to take a look at our full range of topics and sign up today!

Making Code Clubs accessible for every child

We think all children should have the opportunity to learn to code, no matter who they are or where they come from. We chatted to Gravesend Library in Kent, where staff members started a Code Club in 2015. They incorporated the Code Club into their Kent Digital Dens project in 2017, and in 2018 they set up their first autism-friendly club session.

With 1 in 100 people in the UK on the autistic spectrum, Nicola Tubbs from Kent Libraries, Registration & Archives decided to explore how to make Gravesend Library a more autism-friendly space. As part of this, she set up an autism-friendly Code Club, which provides specific support for young people on the autistic spectrum so they can learn and develop through coding.  

Getting started with an autism-friendly Code Club  

In summer 2018, Nicola met Tim Cook at a community event. Tim is an autism professional and a member of the National Autistic Society’s Dartford and Gravesham branch. Between the two of them, they had a wealth of experience to draw upon while creating a safe space where children on the autistic spectrum are able to explore their interest in digital technology.

Nicola and Tim knew that noisy and crowded environments are difficult to cope with for young people with autism, so they found space away from the hubbub of the main library that would be suitable for the club. Then they promoted this new learning opportunity through the National Autistic Society Facebook page and the library’s own networks. And finally in October, Gravesend Library held its very first autism-friendly Code Club session!

The first club sessions were a great success, and the Code Club now runs every other month. The club is small but growing, with six children aged between 9 and 14 attending the sessions; parents are invited to stay as well. Nicola, Tim, and Digital Dens volunteers engage the children in a variety of activities, including Scratch projects and physical digital making opportunities.

Next up: other autism-friendly digital activities

Based on the success of this club, Nicola, Tim and the Digital Dens team are developing ideas for running other autism-friendly digital activities, including a CoderDojo. Tim says: “We’re really excited by the opportunities this could offer! We would love for other libraries to learn from what we’ve done, and to see whether it could be replicated elsewhere.”

Are you running an autism-friendly Code Club in your community? Share your story by reaching out to us on Twitter or Facebook.