Comprehensive school teachers learn about coding in a MOOC

Republishing from Aalto university blog (original source: http://media.aalto.fi/en/current/news/2015-10-02/)

Aalto

Next autumn, computer programming will become a part of all basic education teaching in Finland.

The research group on learning environments of the Aalto University Department of Media is involved in Code Alphabet (Koodiaapinen) that offers a programming MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for free for Finnish comprehensive school teachers. Beginning next autumn, coding or programming will be a part of all basic education teaching, and there are already over a thousand teachers enrolled on the MOOC that starts on 10 October. It is possible to enrol until 24 October.

Programming is an effective and versatile tool for studying.

‘Programming is an effective and versatile tool for studying’, says Project Researcher Tarmo Toikkanen from the Department of Media.

‘The goal is that children learn to understand how computers work and what kinds of tasks are best suited for computers. For teachers, this MOOC offers a guided opportunity to try in practice those same programming environments their students will most likely use. Most of the teachers’ pre-anxieties will fade in just a few minutes, as they realise this is not really that difficult’, he assures.

Follow-up for the course

In Code Alphabet, coding is regarded as a creative method of expression and a developer of logical thinking, not only a tool for problem solving. The goal of this coding MOOC is to solve the question of how to teach programming in a way that motivates children, and to inspire teachers to imagine how coding could function as a tool in the teaching of different subjects.  In addition to the seven-week course, Code Alphabet offers a Library, where all the material of the course are permanently available. Teachers can use these materials to support their teaching in the future.

The course will be organised also in spring 2016.

The course will be organised also in spring 2016, and after that, it will be organised annually. Finnish Eliademy was chosen as the platform for the MOOC. The research group of the Department of Media took part in the development of this platform through Tekes-funded LEAD project between 2012 and 2014.

‘I believe that through fruitful cooperation, the Eliademy platform developed into something that now nicely serves the needs of the Code Alphabet’, remarks Toikkanen.

The Code Alphabet also participates in the international TACCLE3 project (Erasmus+) that focuses on teaching coding in European schools.

Further information:

Senior Researcher Tarmo Toikkanen
Tel. +358 50 60384
tarmo.toikkanen@aalto.fi

Learning Environments research group http://legroup.aalto.fi
Code Alphabet (mostly in Finnish) http://koodiaapinen.fi/en/