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Travel Blog Norway Coding Tour 09.16

One of the aspects of delivering Keynotes and Workshops in Norway that I look forward to is working with Andrew Rhodes the National Education Manager for ATEA, Norway, (also ADE and educator). 

Andrew put together a 4-day Coding tour for Oslo, Trondheim and Stavanger meaning a lot of resources traveling a lot of miles with me. 

The image above shows some of the resources I carted around with me (bar the Bloxels boards), as well as a slide of the 8-bit resources we had when I started teaching in the 80s. 

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

Apps for coding were covered, the different types, and the range of concepts they cover. This included The Adventure Creator which allows you to create graphic adventure games, (remember The Hobbit? see right - ). TAC uses coding blocks to create its code, is intuitive, fun and combines digital story-telling with coding. 

Lots of resources are available here 

 

 

The 3 hour long workshops started with Primary resources working through to Secondary, although of course some work right across several key stages. 

Bloxels has an immediacy about it that is so engaging. It allows students to work collaboratively, design games levels, animations, design backgrounds, sprites and for those willing to dig beneath a little beneath the surface configuration settings and even deeper some deep level coding. 

Below is a charming animation created by one of the attending teachers  on the Stavanger leg of the Norway coding tour. The animation demonstrates three states, idle, walking and jump.  

Osmo Coding was also extremely well extremely well received, I am so impressed with this package. Students are literally touching their code! 

Osmo is tactile, well thought out, engaging and above all it works for teaching primary students and younger coding concepts. 

You could ask where does Osmo differ from similar  target based applications, (Bee-Bot - Get the flower etc) . Its the interactivity and immediacy of being encouraged to experiment with the code blocks and seeing the results on screen. Osmo Coding has a lot going for it. 

Although Swift Playgrounds has only recently been recently I was asked to cover it at the Norway events. I'll be covering Swift Playgrounds in depth in a separate blog, suffice to say I am impressed with the extent of the resources, lessons and support that has been released for Swift Playgrounds. It is extremely well thought out and is already gaining traction globally.

 

 

 

I've delivered Tickle workshops extensively over the last year. Tickle uses code blocks in a similar way to Scratch and Hopscotch whilst connecting to drones via bluetooth. I use Parrot drones for the first part of the workshop. Parrot's mini drone 'Cargo' can withstand the rigours of the classroom environment, and has excellent battery life. I also use a multiple battery charging pack that is available on Amazon, once the group gets into their coding, coding more complex challenges, they get through the batteries! Adding Sphero to the Tickle part of the workshop adds a lot of diversity to the workshop activities and coding concepts that can be covered.. Tickle has been updated several times recently and has two new features worth mentioning here. 

Firstly, your code blocks can be immediately displayed as Swift code via the new Swift icon bottom right. I look forward to developments that allow the code to be transferred into Swift Playgrounds and secondly the Sphero template has a little Sphero icon allowing you to correct your Sphero's orientation.