Friday 30 September 2016

We're the world beaters in computer coding

Published 12/12/2015 | 02:30

Taking part in the ‘Hour of Code’ at Scoil Mobhi in Glasnevin were from left, Cal McLaughlinn, Méabh Keegan, Yana Brennan, Eoin Gaughran, Evan Keeley Burke, coding mentor Niamh Scanlon (13), teacher Catrina Carrigan, Tim Cleary, Rachel Ní Mhathéna and Rachel Ní Oisín
Taking part in the ‘Hour of Code’ at Scoil Mobhi in Glasnevin were from left, Cal McLaughlinn, Méabh Keegan, Yana Brennan, Eoin Gaughran, Evan Keeley Burke, coding mentor Niamh Scanlon (13), teacher Catrina Carrigan, Tim Cleary, Rachel Ní Mhathéna and Rachel Ní Oisín
Grace Broderick (8) and Maeve McNamara (7), both in second class, during their Coding Hour at Carrabane National School near Athenry, Co Galway

Ireland is on track to beat 180 countries by hosting the highest number of 'coding classes' per capita in the world for school children as part of a global computer science programme.

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The 'Hour of Code' is an international project giving people an introductory lesson in computer coding.

The event aims to demystify code and show children how easy it is to learn the basics involved.

The annual event runs in about 180 countries, backed by technology firms and national governments.

Former junior education minister Ciaran Cannon is one of the prime movers behind 'Excited - The Digital Learning Movement'.

The group co-ordinates the 'Hour of Code' in this country, with the Irish Independent as its media partner.

Last year, Ireland hosted 280 events - the second highest per capita in the world. But Mr Cannon, the Fine Gael TD, says Ireland is on track to smash that record, with 540 events having already taken place.

"This year we're on schedule to have the most events of any country.

"For many of the participants who took part this week it was their first time to learn about coding is all about. It is a subject that can empower our children to gain an even deeper understanding of our modern world. We hope this will act as an incentive for young people to continue coding."

The 'Hour of Code' builds upon the success of the CoderDojos, the free computer science club which forms part of an international network, organised by committed volunteers.

Irish Independent

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