Celebrating EU Code Week and #EducationDay

Friday, 23 October 2015

It was a happy coincidence that EU Code Week and our own #EducationDay fell at the same time, giving us the opportunity to invite students and mentors from various CoderDojos to our Dublin office.

The primary aim of both initiatives is to encourage the use of technology in education. EU Code Week promotes computer literacy, while #EducationDay sought to encourage the use of Twitter in learning environments, whether it be to share classwork with the world or to open conversations between schools.

The students, or Ninjas as they’re known in the Dojos, arrived with their mentors and participated in a Q&A session with three of our engineers. They asked how each had become an engineer, what route they had taken to Twitter and why they felt their work was valuable. Our Irish MD and VP for EMEA Online Sales, Stephen McIntyre (@stephenpmc), spoke to the group — only to be candidly and hilariously informed that he was being too long winded and that the sandwiches hadn’t been up to scratch: “They’re not as delicious as crisps.” Lesson learned.

Brian Matthews, a CoderDojo mentor, then led the group in a HTML lesson. The students were active and vocal participants throughout.

With research showing that 40% of the EU population are said to have insufficient digital skills, (and 22% having none at all), we think the mission of organisations like CoderDojo has never been more vital. While the students create web pages in every lesson they attend, only 9.81% of the EU population has ever created a web page. This lack of computer literacy is something EU Code Week seeks to address. We support their campaign to educate a new generation of European entrepreneurs, engineers and inventors with a native appreciation for the digital form.

#EducationDay and the Twitter platform help to create networks between institutions and people at the forefront of this campaign. By sharing their work with the world, the Ninjas of CoderDojo show what’s possible for children as young as seven learning coding languages. When they learn, they want to share the fruits of their efforts. Twitter helps them to do this. It also helps them to pool resources and knowledge, making for a more enriching learning experience.

We’ll continue to support these organisations as Ireland, and Europe, increasingly become digital hubs of the world.