Saturday 24 March 2018

Finally, schools are ready to crack coding and close the digital divide

Education Minister Richard Bruton Photo: Tom Burke
Education Minister Richard Bruton Photo: Tom Burke

Ciarán Cannon

Why did James Whelton, a young Cork student, feel the need to create the first CoderDojo in 2011? Why are there now more than 200 CoderDojos across Ireland catering for thousands of young people? Why did Ireland host more EU Code Week events than any other EU country in 2013 and again in 2014? Why did 500 Irish schools stage an Hour of Code in 2015? Why did 10,000 young people, teachers and parents fill the RDS last month to share their coding projects at the Coolest Projects Awards?

Dr Anne Looney, the CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), once described curriculum as "the story that one generation tells to the next".

Up to now, the story we tell children in Irish schools has been missing one vital element and that void has been filled through community effort and initiatives like CoderDojo and the Hour of Code.

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