As part of EU Code Week, an initiative aimed at encouraging children and students to give coding a go, Microsoft is spearheading the European Coding Initiative.
Together with Facebook, Rovio, SAP and Liberty Global, Microsoft has formed an industry coalition to launch a unique pan-European online platform http://eu.code.org/ which provides teachers and students with access to coding resources and training.
Locally, to mark EU Code Week students from Dublin were invited to attend a CoderDojo session at Microsoft’s campus in Sandyford. The session marked the first of the Microsoft CoderDojo Club for the 2014/2015 school year.
Speaking at Microsoft’s EU Code Week event Dr Kevin Marshall, head of Education, Microsoft Ireland said: “Since the advent of electricity, every generation has had to adapt to evolving technologies transforming the world around them. Coding is the new literacy and we believe that every schoolchild deserves the chance to learn to ‘read’. EU Code Week is the perfect time for students to try their hand at coding and discover what lies behind the apps and gadgets they use every day.”
According to Marshall: “To achieve their full potential, young people need to understand how new technologies work. Only then will they be able to fully understand the increasingly digital world they live in – and shape it to their liking. To do this, one of the things they will need to do is to learn code. Several Microsoft initiatives are already focused on tapping into young people’s digital creativity, whether they’re creating games with Kodu, a simple visual programming language, or taking part in the International Hour of Code – a challenge we’ve set in partnership with Code.org, to get 100 million students to try coding for just one hour. We were delighted to be able to host our event in Microsoft to coincide with the week and we’re looking forward to another busy year ahead of coding with our Irish youth.”
During EU Code Week, Microsoft is running several events across Europe aimed at getting young people to code, as well as promoting ICT education in Europe’s schools.
Speaking from Microsoft about EU Code Week Julie Cullen, Irish Ambassador EU Code Week at European Commission said: “I am delighted to be a part of Microsoft CoderDojo again this year. For two years, the coders of Ireland have exceeded all expectations by having the highest number of events during EU Code Week. Coding enables us to build things and to bring our crazy ideas to life.”