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Summer Code Camp in Tamaki makes learning code a game

Embargoed until 5.00am, Friday 29 January

AUCKLAND – 29 January 2016

Summer Code Camp in Tamaki makes learning code a game

The summer school holiday is getting disrupted, with 30 students from the Manaiakalani Education Trust cluster of schools in Tamaki spending a week of their summer holidays learning to code, by writing their very own computer games.

The Summer Code Camp has been funded by the Innovation Partnership and N4L (Network for Learning) to support and promote the importance of learning to code for students who will be graduating to work in a digital economy.

N4L CEO John Hanna is delighted to be a part of an initiative helping prepare young people for their future: “The appetite and enthusiasm to learn new digital skills is insatiable among our young people, and it is exciting to be part of today’s programme both as a sponsor and an organisation which works so closely with schools to help digitally empower their teaching and learning. The vibe in the room is amazing.”

Innovation Partnership Programme Director, Joe Stockman, hopes that the summer coding camps will take off around the country, inspiring the students to make learning code a core part of their education.

“Every Kiwi kid deserves the opportunity to learn how to code”, said Stockman. “It’s absolutely one of the most important skills that students will need as they head into the workforce of the future digital economy.

“It’s excellent to see that the Ministry of Education is moving to make code and other digital skills a core part of the curriculum, but we can’t wait for government or entire cohorts of children will miss the code-boat, and they won’t have the kind of skills that employers will be looking for in the future.”

The Summer Code Camp is based on Gamefroot, a programme developed by Wellington game development company Gamelab, which teaches coding by engaging students in the process of building their own computer game.

Gamelab founder and CEO Dan Milward is passionate about the ability of games to radically improve learning outcomes, and to introduce students to the type of thinking that they need to become coders.

“Gamelab is all about getting both teachers and young people excited about learning through developing games,” says Milward.

“We represent a collaboration between expert game developers and educational experts that have developed an approach to creating and sharing games that is a great way to teach and learn just about anything.

Gamefroot has been developed as a platform to develop, test and publish educational games. Its straightforward approach means it can be used in primary and intermediate schools to teach basic skills in programming and code, which has quickly become the most important second language a child can learn”, said Milward.

ENDS

The Innovation Partnership is a not-for-profit trust that supports innovative use of digital technology in New Zealand, across education, business, community and government.

About Network for Learning (N4L)

N4L (Network for Learning) is a Crown company formed to provide all New Zealand students and teachers equitable access to high quality internet services and dynamic digital content for learning. The aim is to improve educational outcomes by enabling new learning opportunities presented by digital technologies and the government’s investment in ultra-fast broadband (UFB).

The company is achieving this by building a Managed Network especially designed for schools and an online learning hub called Pond, which won “Most Innovative Initiative” at the 2015 Hi-Tech awards. Together, these initiatives are about investing in our young people, digitally empowering their education for a future-ready, world-ready Aotearoa New Zealand.


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