Issue 2 of Hello World out now!

Issue 2 of Hello World, the Raspberry Pi foundation’s computing and digital making magazine for educators is published today! This issue celebrates ten years of MIT’s pioneering block-based programming language, Scratch. Scratch is an amazing, accessible programming language that has helped millions of people learn more about computing programming. It’s also by far the most popular coding language for our Code Clubs in the UK and around the world.

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As well as an exclusive interview with Mitch Resnick, leader of the Scratch team at MIT, the magazine’s latest edition is packed full of news, features and activities, including on:

  • Details on expanding the age range of Code Clubs to 9- to 13-year-olds
  • Safeguarding children online, by Penny Patterson
  • Embracing chaos inside and outside the classroom with Code Club’s Rik Cross, Raspberry Jam maker-in-chief Ben Nuttall, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator Sway Grantham, and CPD trainer Alan O’Donohoe
  • Incredibly useful lesson guides on programming graphical user interfaces (GUI) with guizero, simulating logic gates in Minecraft, and introducing variables through storytelling.
  • Exploring computing and gender through Girls Who Code, Cyber First Girls, the BCSLovelace Colloqium, and Computing At School’s #include initiative

Want to get your hands on a copy? Hello World is available as a free Creative Commons download from the Hello World website. Additionally, thanks to the very generous support of our sponsor BT, we are able to offer a printed version of the magazine to serving educators – including Code Club volunteers – in the UK. Remember to subscribe to receive your free copy, posted directly to your home.

Did you know you can also contribute to Hello World? Share your experience and ideas by emailing: contact@helloworld.cc

Updates to the Code Club website

Over the past few weeks we’ve been working on the Code Club site to make some updates, and we wanted to share these with you here!

Working guided by feedback from our community, we’ve turned our attention to the Club Hub to enhance our resources and make it simpler for you to manage your clubs and update your details.

Club Hub

For volunteers, we’ve made it easier to:

  • set your status so you can let clubs know if you want to volunteer
  • find and use your profile
  • search for a club
  • tell us you’re not volunteering anymore

For hosts, we’ve made it easier to:

  • search for a volunteer
  • add volunteers to your club

New and refreshed resources

Now when you log in to your Club Hub, you’ll be able to access an improved range of certificates and useful pdf files. These include:

  • Permission Form for children to attend Code Club
  • Come to Code Club’ Poster – for advertising your club
  • General Certificate – for celebrating great work or coming to the end of a coding course.

We’ve also added a brand-new certificate for volunteers, which club hosts can download and print to thank their volunteers for their help in running a club. Sign in to your Club Hub to check out these materials. 

We are always striving to improve our offerings for volunteers, educators, and hosts who run or are looking to get involved in Code Club. If you have any questions about this, or any feedback that you would like to share, please get in touch at hello@codeclub.org.uk.

Run a Code Club at your Library!

Interested in getting a Code Club started in your local library? We asked Julie Gibson, Branch Library Manager for Omagh Library in Northern Ireland, about her experience running a club. Here is what she says:

robot-015Libraries are all about reading and learning, including about the use of technology, and one of the Libraries NI objectives is to help bridge the digital divide. With this in mind, I thought we were a perfect location for offering local children access to what is essentially taking words (code) and creating a story (program), whether an animation or a game.

After some thought and discussion regarding the practicalities, Libraries NI’s first Code Club met in Omagh Library in January 2016 with 10 children registered. Children have busy lives with homework and after-school clubs, so we decided to run sessions alongside school terms on Saturday mornings, which is also a time our computers are not in high demand.

We were lucky to have Una, Code Club’s Regional Coordinator for Northern Ireland, as our volunteer for the first term, and she got everyone, staff and children, motivated to learn to code by setting up a real whack-a-mole game using Makey Makey, play dough and Scratch!  

Faced with their first coding project the children were enthusiastic. Coding mixes logic with creativity, a great foundation for any child: focus on learning the basics, follow the steps, consider the consequences, and let your imagination soar!

Robot - 002I have to say this is one of the quietest children’s clubs I have ever hosted, as they are all so absorbed by the code, except for occasional outburst of joy at creating something new or of despair at the project not working.  When the latter happens it is usually enough to remind the children to check that they have followed the steps in the worksheet – success is in the detail – and there is always another club member to help if someone needs it. Anyone who finishes a project early either moves on to a new project or goes back over the project they have completed and tweaks it to make it their own, choosing new sprites, stages and conversations. At the end of the term each club member receives a certificate as proof of their accomplishment.

My best Code Club moment? This has to be every time a child’s eyes light up when they see what they have achieved – proving that coding is for everyone.

Learn more about the potential of Code Clubs in libraries by watching our short video on Youtube, you can also sign up on our website.