The Hour of Code by Seprod Foundation
Seprod Foundation introduces primary school teachers to computer programming at the Hour of Code Programme.
In an effort to expose more primary students to the wonders of coding, 80 primary school teachers from across the island have spent the last three weekends in coding workshops which are expected to impact about 3,000 students.
The workshops, organised by the Seprod Foundation and conducted by Marvin Hall, founder of Halls of Learning, and his team, were dubbed The Hour of Code. They were held at Richmond Park Great House in St Andrew on Saturday, November 19, Saturday, November 26, and Saturday, December 3.
Each teacher was exposed to activities that covered fundamental computer science concepts such as algorithms, binary, debugging, computational thinking, conditionals, functions, loops and variables. In addition, teachers got the chance to give simple commands to robots and play interactive games that required them to develop their reasoning skills.
The workshops form part of the foundation’s thrust to expose children to coding, primarily through Jamaica Girls Coding. They, however, represent a departure from direct engagement of the students.
“We came onboard with Jamaica Girls Coding and over three years provided summer camps for up to 80 girls to learn computer programming…to improve on our knowledge economy,” Melanie Subratie, chairperson of the foundation told the Jamaica Observer.
“Jamaicans are creative people, incredibly entrepreneurial, so why not be creators of technology and not just consumers of it?” she asked.
Participants in the workshops are singing their praises.
“The Hour of Code is a good programme to help children of all ages to practise critical thinking. It is fascinating and will definitely keep my students at task. It is similar to the topic sequencing in mathematics,” grade three teacher at Boscobel Primary School Natalie Chance told Career & Education.
Deandra Spence, a literacy teacher at King’s Primary and Infant School, said that the programme teaches important concepts for her subject.
“Seprod is doing a great job. This workshop allowed me to reason and interacts with robots and programs so I can, in turn, teach my students. The lessons will allow children to think on the spot, be analytical and have fun at the same time. It will also help them with writing stories,” she said.