ICS’s Scratch Competition 2018 – 2019

This year’s Scratch Competition launched last month, to coincide with EU Code Week. Run by the ICS Foundation and supported by Lero – the Irish Software Research Centre, Amazon Web Services and Science Fountation Ireland, the Scratch Competition promotes computing and software development at both primary and secondary school levels. Scratch is a visual programming language that encourages children to develop essential coding skills through fun and interactive learning. It…

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SCRATCH Conference 2018

Following on from its inaugural 2017 event , the National SCRATCH Conference is back and will take place in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan, Co. Meath on Tuesday 19th June, 9.30 – 4:30. Scratch (To those uninitiated) is a free visual drag and drop programming tool designed specifically for education by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations and then share…

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Tech Week 2018 – Get Connected!

Ireland’s national festival of technology is just around the corner, Tech Week 2018 runs from April 22nd – 28th. Now in it’s fifth year, Tech Week is made up of a range of classroom and community activities taking place across Ireland – in libraries, schools, community centres, and many other locations. These activities give students a chance to develop their interest in technology subjects, examine potential career prospects, learn new…

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Scratch National Competition 2018

TeachNet blog followers will be well familiar with our advocacy of coding in schools, and synonymous with same is Scratch. Previously, we’ve looked at Scratch (And its ubiquitous feline protagonist) in many guises but this time around I’d like to highlight the Scratch National Competition which is now open for entries. The competition, now in its 8th year, is supported by the ICS Foundation, Lero, IT Sligo and ITT Dublin…

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Introducing the GoPiGo

In a previous post I mentioned that our school had just taken delivery of a GoPiGo and promised to keep you posted on our journey, and just last week, the cling-wrap was removed and the exploration began. We sourced our GoPiGo base kit from ModMyPi in the UK and  this kit comes with everything you need to get started, including a robot body, motors, controls, and a power battery pack.…

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BYOR not BYOB! DIY Robots

Subscribers to the TeachNet blog may remember some of my previous posts on code; To Code or Not to Code?, Cracking the Code & it’s creatively titled sequel Cracking the Code…Again?, all reflecting an the ever burgeoning curiosity among teachers and students around computer programming and becoming code literate. Be it the introductory Hour of Code Week, putting the Scratch Cat through his paces or building a Raspberry Pi Weather…

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Cracking the Code

I read with some surprise a recent article on Silicon Republic following European Code Week (codeweek.eu) which took place mid-October. As I’ve written previously in “To Code or Not to Code”, I’m a big advocate of getting students to grips with the basics of computer programming however going by the little anecdotal evidence  out there, I thought the numbers of schools coding were relatively small. That’s why I was pleasantly…

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Scratch with Shaun the Sheep

As a follow on from my post last month “To Code or Not to Code?” I’d like to share with readers a very interesting new Scratch programming competition just started over the water with the backing of Aardman Animations  publicised yesterday in the tech section of the Guardian’s  website – Aardman Animations aims to get kids coding with Shaun the Sheep contest. Bristol based Aardman are of course world renowned…

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Scratch 2.0

​ Learning to code can be quite intimidating, especially for children, but visual tools can keep them engaged and learning. It’s for this reason that MIT Media Lab created and released Scratch back in 2006. It doesn’t require any lines of code to be written, and can be used by children as young as 8. It’s been 7 years since the original Scratch version 1.4 got released, though, and with…

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