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Code Green: cracking the code

I was privileged to be part of this superb event, at the fabulous Clapham Library on the 1st March, both in the planning stage and on the day, where I gave a flashtalk on West Sussex’s Geek Week.
The event was organised by the Society of Chief Librarians to help promote Code Green, as part of their learning offer, and designed to both inspire and improve the skills of librarians to deliver digital learning in libraries.

Opening session at Code Green. Photo credit: Ben Lee
Opening session at Code Green. Photo credit: Ben Lee

Code Green was opened by SCL President Ciara Eastell, who cleverly included a series of questions about what people knew and how they felt about the digital agenda at the end of her presentation. The audience were polled using live digital voting and the answers displayed on the big screen in real time.
The rest of the morning involved 2 sets of parallel workshops covering coding for kids, virtual reality, running a library makerspace, robotics, digital inclusion classes, Apps for Good and even how to apply for funding to do all this!

Hands on sessions

I went to Coder Dojo’s workshop on using Scratch to create a fully fledged computer game in 30min and then onto Apps for Good to learn how they are helping young people gain the skills and confidence to become digital entrepreneurs.
Lunch followed 2 parallel sessions each consisting of 3x 5min flashtalks which included my own presentation and the sight of Bill Thompson from the BBC juggling whilst Newcastle Libraries’ Luke Burton gave his talk.

After lunch, there were a further 2 rounds of parallel workshops covering the BBC’s Make It Digital work, Rasberry Pis, digital music making, the Bridges Panel, Code Club, and Barking’s DigiLab.

Makeblock robot at the Code Green event. Photo credit: Ben Lee
Makeblock robot at the Code Green event. Photo credit: Ben Lee

I took part in the two BBC Make It Digital workshops resulting in me signing up as a Weather Watcher and getting to play with the incredible new Micro:bits, which will soon be distributed to every Year 7 pupil in the country. Unfortunately I had to hand the Micro:bit back at the end of the session, but I will be buying one when they become available in stores.

Alison Wheeler, SCL’s lead for the Learning Offer, wrapped up the day in fine style, ending by repeating the same poll as Ciara had used in the morning. This will allow SCL to evidence the learning outcomes of the day and I look forward to seeing the report. However, the real proof will come from the projects that the attendees, having been inspired by the day, take forward over the coming months because, as they say, actions speak louder than words!
For more coverage of the events which took place during the day, take a look at the Storify produced by Ben Lee.

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