Next Wednesday, ahead of EU Code Week 2017, Donegal ETB will host a Coding Initiative cluster day for staff from four of its schools to support them in rolling out cutting edge teaching in the area of coding. In 2016, two of Donegal ETB’s schools, the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town and Crana College in Buncrana were among only twenty-two schools nation-wide to introduce coding to their schools as part of the new Junior Cycle reforms. Following an invitation to more schools to participate in the new ‘Junior Cycle Coding in Action’ initiative, a further 50 schools were chosen from 175 entries from around the country, including two more Donegal ETB schools, Colaiste na Carraig, An Charraig and Errigal College, Letterkenny.
The introduction of coding to schools is one of the most exciting new Junior Cycle short courses now available and Donegal ETB schools are leading the way with this initiative, led by Donegal ETB teacher, Thomas Boyle of Crana College who is a JCT Coding Associate. Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) is the Department of Education and Skills support service for schools. The innovative delivery of coding in Crana College has already been notice by the European Commission, Google Europe, Minister Ciaran Cannon, the Teaching Council, BT Young Scientist, Microsoft Ireland, Intel Ireland and a host of companies across the globe.
Speaking about next week’s cluster day, Thomas Boyle, JCT Coding Associate in Donegal ETB’s Crana College, stated, “It’s a very exciting time to be in education especially in the area of Coding and Computer Science. The Coding Short Course and Digital competencies at a whole school level as part of the Junior Cycle, is key to laying down the foundation for new subjects like Computer Science to be introduced by 2018.”
Dr Martin Gormley, Donegal ETB’s Director of Schools, speaking about the initiative stated, “Donegal ETB is fully aware of the digital transformation and the pace of change in today’s classrooms; the challenge for teachers is to be prepared for this explosion of technology. Donegal ETB believes it is essential to focus on and support our teachers in this new learning area and that they must be given time to upskill in order to implement coding and computing in their schools. Delivery of this cutting edge course in our schools is evidence of the exceptional standards of teaching and learning being promoted across Donegal ETB’s schools, colleges and centres. I’d like to commend the willingness of the staff to take on this new innovation and also thank Thomas for leading out on this initiative.”
Further updates on this initiative and further coding activities taking place in Donegal ETB schools, can be found on its website (www.donegaletb.ie) or social media accounts – Facebook/Twitter (@DonegalETB) and YouTube (Donegal ETB).