Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Waikato holds a Code Camp to teach future programmers


16 January, 2013

Waikato holds a Code Camp to teach future programmers

The University of Waikato Computer Science Department hosts the first Code Camp next week, and is aiming to create a new batch of Code Avengers.

So far 40 Year 9 and 10 students have registered for the camp and will be using Waikato University PhD student Michael Walmsley’s free online courses – www.codeavengers.com - to learn the fundamentals of programming and web development.

The idea behind Code Avengers is to make learning computer code more attractive for students interested in constructing games and apps, and to revolutionise the way computer science is taught in schools.

Aligned with new NCEA programming and computer science achievement standards, Code Avengers provides teachers and students a clear path to teaching and learning JavaScript programming and web development.

“At the moment about only 20% of high school teachers are comfortable teaching the new programming standards, and are looking for a support resource,” says Walmsley. “That’s where Code Avengers comes in.”

Walmsley has been running professional development classes to help teachers prepare to teach the new NCEA standards, and learn how to get the most of the Code Avengers courses. He has built teacher tools into the program that provide live feedback of class progress.

He came up with the concept last year when trying to help his brother learn JavaScript using tools freely available on the web, but his brother kept ditching the learning for computer games – which he’d spend hours playing.

“Code Avengers is designed to appeal to a broad range of learners. The courses are ‘gamified’ so as to keep the attention of teenagers who struggle to find time for homework, but always make time for computer games.”

Since it was launched in April last year, more than 400 schools are using Code Avengers to teach basic programming, with teachers all over the world expressing thanks at how effective and engaging the courses are.

“Code Camp is a first for the University of Waikato,” says Mr Walmsley. “The idea behind it is to get more kids interested in an industry with lots of interesting, high paying jobs, but a real shortage of talent to fill those positions.

“IT is a growing industry, but it’s not enough just getting people to study IT, it’s about getting the right people, and to do this we need to make things like learning to code fun.

"We're using this Code Camp as a trial of sorts, and if all goes well we will begin accepting registrations for a second edition to be run April 22-24, during the term one school holidays."

Code Camp takes place at the University of Waikato from 21-23 January, held in R-block labs and S1.03. Sponsors include the New Zealand institute of IT professionals (IITP), Google, and Orion Health - New Zealand’s largest software exporter.

The ITC industry of New Zealand is now worth 10% of national GDP.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

EPMU: Fourth Pike River Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news