#codingforkids evening barcamp

If any of you have heard me tell the story of how Rewired State came about, you may be surprised that I am throwing myself into a barcamp. (For those who haven’t, it goes along the lines of – after 3 years of talking about the digital future of government in a series of barcamps, I got thoroughly bored and wanted action not words, so kicked off National Hack the Government day with the genius minds of James Darling and Richard Pope – since then I have been a bit scathing about chatty stuff – I am often wrong).

So, we are running a barcamp style informal evening on the topic of teaching coding in schools. We are doing this because actually the debate and issues that surround the subject of teaching programming in schools is so complicated, it is also noisy. So what we are hoping to do is bring some of those voices together in a room for a couple of hours, to hammer out some of the next steps.

We aim to have everyone commit to one action each at that barcamp, for them to then blog about their progress over the next few months and then run a hack day 3 months after that, to prototype any required digital tools. Thereafter we would like to hold regular alternate barcamps and hack days, relentlessly drilling through the issues and gathering the necessary experts around this topic.

It is way too big a subject for it to be owned or solved by any one organisation or thought leader – it requires an expert and committed community, self-driven and focused on specialist areas. Katy Beale from Caper and myself from Young Rewired State are just acting as catalysts here – we want it to take flight.

If this sounds like something you would like to take part in, then the event is being held on October 12th from 6-9pm at the Guardian, sign up to the Eventbrite form over here and we will keep you posted on stuff.

This is very much a community thing, it is not an Emma and Katy thing, we just wanted to get it started.

12 responses

  1. Emma, this is a great initiative and I’m very enthusiastic about coming along to the event and doing my bit. I am approaching this from two sides; the first as an ex-coder, now manager; the second as a father who is very concerned about his 4-year-old’s education.

    I promoted this event through various social media channels and have had a number of responses, both positive and negative as to whether it’s a good idea, but I believe that there are many great reasons to get children involved in coding; not least because of all the other disciplines it encourages: logic, reason, research, testing, failing, and, in particular, learning that failing is educational and not something to be afraid of.

    I look forward to seeing everyone on the 12th.

  2. Emma
    I have just emerged from BarcampMediaCityUK #bcmcuk and that that was a fantastic learning experience for all.
    London is just too far, unfortunately.
    We should be able to organise a virtual barcamp some time in the not too far future or streamcamp where video is streamed. We could have different channels for the talks.
    Would love to collaborate on any future work, including hackdays.

    We are holding a hack evening on Fri 4th Nov http://hackademy1.eventbrite.com/
    and some computing classes for ICT (and other) teachers http://caspreston.eventbrite.com/

    I think I may have some resources you could use from both of these for your coding barcamp.
    You can email me using my first name, ‘Alan’ and then after @ sign odonohoe.org.uk
    Good luck

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