Three benefits of attending the computing education seminars! 

2023 is shaping up to be a year full of personal development and learning opportunities at Code Club: in March we’re hosting the Clubs Conference for you; throughout the year you can join our brilliant new Code Club online event programme; and now we have a primary computing education seminar series, delivered by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Learning at Code Club

While you are busy running Code Clubs, researchers across the globe are committing their time to exploring how education works and how we can ensure that our practice continues to benefit young people’s learning.

The researchers at the Raspberry Pi Foundation have lined up a set of free online seminars about primary (K–5) computing teaching and learning, covering a wide range of topics in primary education.

We invite you to join in these seminars so you can hear some of the most interesting researchers out there share their learnings, and discuss with us how we all can use the researchers’ work to make a difference in our Code Clubs.

The researchers will bring their learnings, but the knowledge you have as a Code Club educator or volunteer will be what makes these seminars unique! That is why we encourage you, whatever your background, to attend and share your experience.

Seminar topics that have caught our attention include:

  • How to teach data literacy in primary education
  • Strategies for giving appropriate feedback
  • How children learn coding through ScratchJr

The benefits of attending

Learning together is a key aspect of Code Club, and the online seminars provide you with a friendly learning environment with like-minded people from across the globe. You’ll gain valuable insights into how your youngest learners develop their computing knowledge, and you will be able to discuss with peers what this means for your Code Club in practical terms.

Expand your computer knowledge

Dr Bobby Whyte from the Raspberry Pi Foundation is the speaker of the Tuesday 7 March seminar. In the session, he will give practical examples of how primary computing can be integrated into literacy education.

Here Bobby shares three benefits you will get out of attending the seminar series: 

  1. Participating in the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s computing education seminars is a great opportunity for you to hear about the latest research topics and ideas. The seminars are open to everyone who is interested in developing their own teaching practice and learning about innovative approaches.
  1. By joining us, you have the chance to spend time with like-minded practitioners and researchers from around the world. After each seminar presentation, you get the opportunity to participate in a breakout session where you can network and share ideas and best practice from your Code Club.
  1. The seminars are a chance to engage in a lively discussion about teaching and provide the chance for you to deepen your knowledge of computing education and expand your teaching toolkit. Researchers often present innovative practices and even share lesson materials, tools, and ideas that you can use in your Code Club. I can’t wait to see you there! 

You can check out the full line-up of seminar speakers online, and sign up to receive all the latest news and to attend a seminar soon.

Impala Bridge: How Code Club is helping to bring digital making to Benin

Code Club started in 2012 in the U.K., with the aim to give local children a chance to learn to code. Fast forward ten years and there are Code Clubs in over 160 countries around the world, with partner organisations* working in many regions.

In Benin, Impala Bridge is a partner organisation using Code Club and CoderDojo programmes to give young learners (and educators) access to digital making. Izzy, Global Community Coordinator, caught up with Martin Mbaga, one of the co-founders of Impala Bridge, to find out more.

Local Benin educators

The inspiration

Martin and the other co-founders were inspired by their own experiences; many of the volunteers are former refugees. While living in refugee camps in Belgium, they had the opportunity to learn coding and other digital skills. For Martin, this helped inspire his passion for technology and community outreach: “Belgium has given me something, now I have to give it back.”

How does it work?

Impala Bridge operates in Belgium and Benin. In Belgium, the focus is on refugee camps, teaching coding and robotics. In Benin, they work with other organisations to support Guerra Digital Innovation Hub. Operating in Parakou, North Benin, Guerra helps the community improve their digital literacy in several ways. Educators and volunteers are given training to improve their own digital skills and prepare them to run clubs. In turn, these teachers and volunteers go on to set up Code Clubs in local secondary schools.

Code Club leaders gather together from across Benin

Powered by people

During our conversation, one thing comes up again and again: people. “For me it’s all about people,” Martin says. “School teachers and directors of the schools (particularly our early adopters from Albarika College), IT leaders and ministry workers, the Director of UNFPA (United Nations Fund for Populations) and UN agency innovation teams, without them this wouldn’t work. Giving those people recognition is important.” He also highlights the volunteers, from the teachers in Belgium connecting with teachers in Benin, to the local university students running clubs, to the schools themselves: “If you don’t have people, you can’t do anything.”

Hopes for 2023 and beyond

Based on the success of the current model, the team at Impala Bridge hopes to expand the area they operate in and increase the number of clubs. They also have plans to create a regular cohort of learners using Micro:bit computers. They have already run several events of this type, and they hope for the learners — mostly girls from the local community — to take part in the annual Micro:bit challenge.

Code Club members

More broadly, Impala Bridge hopes to continue to help the community as a whole. Martin explains that EdTech entrepreneurs who volunteer at Code Clubs have gone on to use their learnings to help create virtual solutions and make jobs. And for the learners themselves, Code Club is opening up new possibilities for their lives: “With IT and globalisation, you can make your future better.”

Find out more about becoming a Code Club partner organisation

*The Raspberry Pi Foundation partners with organisations around the world to help support local Code Club and CoderDojo communities. Growth partners start and support a collection of clubs in their own network, while national partners take on the responsibility of supporting all clubs in their country, building a nationwide CoderDojo or Code Club community.