One of the regular professional development opportunities that I attend is the Sydney Teacher Librarian Network (STLN) Meeting, once each Term. Our school hosted the STLN Term 1 meeting earlier this year.
This Term's meeting was held at Sydney Secondary College in Leichhardt. The focus was on technology, with coding being a central part of this. We discussed participation in the 'Hour of Code', a worldwide coding event held in December each year, got some hands-on experience in a variety of coding activities and attended workshops with the aim of creating using technology such as Google CS, Raspberry Pi, Scratch, Scratch Jnr, Drones and Tikler, Sphero, BeeBots and Makey Makey.
'Hour of Code' (HOC) resources are available at code.org, which is an American-run site. Whilst BPS will be participating in the HOC this year, students can access the activities for free, whenever they like. However, our current Code Club students are now preparing presentations to teach and lead teachers and Stage One students through one of the coding activities found at code.org.
These activities not only develop students' coding skills but also their technology skills in Google Slides, Google Classroom, researching for information, confidence in presenting and leadership skills in peer mentoring - all 21st Century skills that our students will need when they move on from primary school.
Rather than being passive users of technology, we are providing opportunities for our students to develop leadership and project management skills as well as problem-solving and computational thinking.
Watch this space for more exciting coding developments!