Exploring Coding @ Crana College

From over 120 entries from Post Primary schools all over the country, Crana College, Buncrana is delighted to have been selected as only one of 2 schools in Donegal and 22 schools nationally for a new Junior Cycle Coding pilot initiative.
Teachers from Crana College will be among the first in the country to teach the new Junior Cycle short course in Coding. DSC_9999The Information Technology (IT) sector continues to grow in Ireland and offers students excellent career opportunities. IT is an integral component of the curriculum in Crana College, and as it’s teachers seek to equip students with the skills they will need to meet the challenges of the 21st century Coding will play an important role in doing this.

Intel has also made a donation of 900 Galileo Gen 2 Boards and teacher kits to the 22 Post Primary schools. The training and donation are part of a collaboration initiative between Intel Ireland, Lero ­ The Irish Software Research Centre and Department of Education’s Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) professional development service.

Crana College teachers Thomas Boyle and Annmarie Walsh are among 56 teachers to receive training as part of this pilot. The initiative is designed to support teachers in exploring the Coding short course now available under the Framework for Junior Cycle 2015. Students will engage in technology and design related activities with the use of state of the art resources.

“This donation will support schools in this innovative and exciting Coding initiative, which we hope will produce Ireland’s innovators of the future.” said Paul Phelan, Public Affairs Operations Manager, Intel.

“Intel Ireland are delighted to give students an insight into technology, and allow the development of both logical and digital skills in a fun, collaborative, and innovative learning environment”. “These digital skills are vital if Ireland, and indeed Europe, is to address the coding skills shortage which has led to in excess of 500,000 open job postings across the continent in 2015.

Participating teachers enjoy specific training to support their exploration of this new learning area in their schools. Both Intel Ireland and Lero support JCT in this work. “A career in computing can be interesting and creative. This project will allow students to take the first steps in exploring this potential,“ said Clare McInerney, who is Education and Outreach Manager in Lero.

“We are very happy to help build capacity in schools to provide inventive short courses like Coding to their students.”

“I am very excited about the introduction of Coding to our timetable”, Kevin Cooley, Principal of Crana College. “We were not included in the initial list of 19 schools in Ireland eligible to offer the Exploring Coding pilot in the College in 2016. However, we made a strong case to the Dept of Education and Science highlighting the need to offer young people in the Northwest opportunities to explore Coding as a possible career option”.