NewTechKids achieved a major milestone last week.

Over the course of five training sessions, we trained 75 primary school teachers in Amsterdam and Delft to teach our ‘intro to coding’ lesson to students aged 4-8 during EU Code Week 2015 (October 10-18). Our lesson doesn’t focus on technical coding skills. Instead, we focus on exposing young kids to concepts such as coding, commands, algorithms and automation.

It was so encouraging to see teachers from Dutch and international schools come to the training after a long day of teaching and get ‘a second wind’ by learning about technology, programming and computer science education. We explained our pedagogy and teaching approaches and then guided them on how to teach our lesson. We were amazed at the curiosity and openness to teaching in a way which is focused on helping kids develop 21st century skills: problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication.

What really encouraged us was the feedback we received afterwards. Teachers felt confident teaching these concepts. We told them that while we trained them to give our lesson, we encourage them to ‘hack’ the lesson and adapt it to their personal teaching styles and classroom dynamics.

Here’s some of the feedback we received:

“I came away from the session knowledgeable about how to teach this lesson. I have shared what I learnt with colleagues and others are interested in taking part.”

“I think it would be great to give a mini course in computer science concepts and allow the teachers in the consequent workshops to then design lines of inquiry for those concepts.”

“I really like your learning approach. Part of the reason it’s necessary to have the ‘A’ for art in STEAM, is that it’s the learning process that matters, not the soon to be outdated tech. Learning the underlying methodology, design process and rationale of coding is what really counts. A very enjoyable and thought-provoking event.”

“I loved what you said about making errors an retrials. It’s great to teach children a growth mindset.”

“Thank you for the inspirational session. You made coding and computer science education feel like so much fun. I would love to bring that enthusiasm to the kids during EU code week 2015.”

Participating schools

Leonardo da Vinci School, Amsterdam International Community School (AICS), P.J. Troelstraschool, De Nieuwe Internationale School Esprit (DENISE), Cornelis Vrijschool, Basisschool de Globe, Laterna Magica, 7e Montessorischool, Basisschool Oostelijke Eilanden, Basisschool Oscar Carré, the British School of Amsterdam, Basisschool de Rivieren, Basisschool Rosa Boekdrukker, Nicolaas Maesschool, het ABC, de Brede School de Zeeheld, Basisschool de Kleine Nicolaas, School of Understanding, Basisschool de Burght, Basissschool de Vlinderboom, 14e Montessorischool de Jordan, Brede School Annie M.G. Schmidt, Willemsparkschool, WSV Esprit School, the International School of Delft, and the International School of Amsterdam (ISA).