Koodiaapinen, or ”Code ABC” or ”Code Alphabet”, is a grassroots initiative by teachers and educational researchers. Here are the basic facts about Code ABC. The rest of this site is in Finnish (for now).
- Why? The new national curriculum framework for primary education in Finland (from 2016 onwards) states that programming (or coding) is part of all education. In Finland most lessons in grades 1-6 are given by each class’s own teacher, so these classroom teachers must be able to understand and meaningfully use coding as a teachning and learning tool. The curriculum states, for example, that for a 6th grade student to get a good grade on mathematics, they must be able to create simple programs using a visual programming environment (such as Scratch, although other brands are available):
- How? There is no lack of resources or tools on the topic, but most of them are in English, and a novice teacher will be baffled by the variety. We provide a MOOC that is free-of-charge and tailored for Finnish primary school teachers. We provide an open library of content (openly licensed under CC BY) that provides a clear learning path for teachers. The library consists of:
- theoretical sections on computational thinking
- pedagogical sections on how various concepts and tools can be used in classroom work
- hands-on exercises fitted to various age ranges (ScratchJr for K-2, Scratch for 3-6, Racket or Python for 7-9)
- When? Our first MOOC started on the 10th of October, 2015. Of the 1300 people who started the MOOC, 511 completed it. The second MOOC started on he 22nd of February, 2016, with over 2000 participants.
- Who? This is a grassroots effort, mainly built by the efforts of volunteers. The central people are:
- Tarmo Toikkanen, educational psychologist and design researcher at the Learning Environments research group in Aalto University
- Tero Toivanen, special needs teacher in Kilonpuisto school in Espoo, and ICT teacher trainer
- Vuokko Kangas, classroom teacher in Oulu Normal School in Oulu
- Tiina Partanen, mathematics teacher in Lielahti school in Tampere
- With what money? Nearly none. This is a volunteer effort by individuals. Our initial support came from the IT trainers association and we have some funding from Aalto University and the Finnish Federation of Technology Industries. We’re also part of an Erasmus+ project TACCLE3. We are of course looking for opportunities to turn this into a more sustained activity. For spring 2016 we have some funding from a technology fund, and for the academic year 2016-2017 we have funding from the National Board of Education.
Here are a few press mentions in English:
- 25th February 2016: The acclaimed teachers’ coding MOOC to continue
For more information, contact Tarmo Toikkanen, tarmo.toikkanen at iki.fi.