Introduction to coding Python with EduBlocks
11 July 2022
If you’re reading this, then you may have already asked yourself “Why is it important to code?”. To better answer that, we first need to ask the question “What is code?”.
Put simply, code is the language we use to tell a computer what to do. For a moment, stop and think of everything that uses some form of computer to work, that’s quite a few right? Next, think of all of the things which are made, organised and delivered using some form of computer software. Can you think of anything that wasn’t?
So, already you can see that there are very few , if any, that haven’t had a computer involved at some point. This is exactly why coding is such an important skill to learn in an ever growing digital world.
For a more detailed intro into coding, and how programming links to current and future tech, take a look at our latest Digital Wings blog.
The coding curriculum
With the current and future need for skilled coders, it’s important that schools spend time teaching this valuable skill to support the next generation’s workforce with talented and enthusiastic coders. Just like foreign languages, kids learn to code more easily than adults, and the longer a person has been learning something the better they will most likely be.
There’s lots of different coding languages and many of them have different uses. Because of this, knowing where to start can seem confusing when you come to teach or learn coding.
What is a coding platform?
A coding platform is a programme or website that provides all of the tools needed to explore a coding language all in one place. They’re great for coding with kids, as they are usually designed to make things really simple to understand for beginners. Having a simple platform can make teaching coding easier, since all of the basics are already available in one place.
We recommend starting from ‘Scratch’. No, that’s not a joke, Scratch is an easy to learn coding language that uses coloured blocks to help build up code in a quick and visual way. If you’ve never coded before, now is a great time to begin your coding adventure.
How does EduBlocks help you teach Python?
When you’ve got to grips with Scratch, what next? Another language that is often suggested for beginners to learn is ‘Python’. Python is a text based language that has lots of different uses, such as web development, to automate tasks (scripting) and also for data science. This is where EduBlocks comes in. EduBlocks is a platform which, similar to Scratch, allows you to build your code in blocks while letting you explore the text code in Python too.
This doesn’t mean that you have to already know how to use Scratch to be able to code in EduBlocks, quite the opposite. EduBlocks uses drag and drop block coding, just like Scratch, which is perfect for beginners.
EduBlocks has been designed to make learning to code in Python easy for beginners. When you look at the EduBlocks platform you’ll see that, as you build up your code with the blocks, the programme will display the equivalent text code in the Python language all at the same time. As your code grows so does the Python script.
By building up code using blocks, and making some changes, you can use EduBlocks to get a real introduction to the Python language in a fun and simple way.
What can you do with EduBlocks?
EduBlocks as a platform continues to grow and evolve. The latest update was EduBlocks 4, there’s some great new features that’ve been added.
- Classroom Tool: The ‘Classroom Tool’ was built with teachers in mind, and was designed to make teaching with EduBlocks much easier. The feature allows teachers to set assignments, collect work as well as provide feedback and marks, all within the EduBlocks platform.
- HTML editor: The HTML editor is an introduction into coding in HTML. Just like for Python, the HTML editor teaches coding in HTML using blocks that, when put together, generate the HTML code. This code can then be adjusted in exactly the same way as Python. HTML is one of the main languages used for building websites.
- Showcase: In the ‘Showcase’ update you will find a lot of different projects, all created to use features of EduBlocks to learn new ways to code.
These features are designed to make teaching a coding lesson as easy as possible, in an engaging way, that doesn’t require lots of knowledge of coding from either the teacher or the student.
How does Code Playground fit in?
Code Playground is a free coding education system created by Barclays Digital Eagles, that aims to help build a solid foundation in coding to prepare children for a digital future. Our dedicated Code Playground website provides lots of activities that’re free to use. The ‘For Teachers’ section contains the basic building blocks of sessions, including lesson plans and workbooks.
There’s also information for parents on how they can support their children’s coding education. There’s a wide range of video sessions that can be used in the classroom or at home. The numerous resources on our site are a great way of demonstrating how fun and exciting coding can be, as well as being linked to the national curriculum for computing. We even have a section created just for children to begin their coding adventure with a collection of fun activities.
Code Playground sessions
What really makes Code Playground special is our ability to join you for sessions in your classroom. In the last 12 months nearly 20,000 pupils have taken part in our free online sessions right across the country, these include:
- Code Playground online - Each month of the school year we run two weeks of coding sessions, two sessions each week-day. These sessions cover one of the programming parts of the computing curriculum, and allow children to learn some great skills using different platforms such as Scratch, VEXCode VR and micro:bit.
- Code Playground club - We also run our twice weekly ‘Code Playground Club’. A series of afterschool sessions and projects where you can code along with us, or run your own sessions using our free activities resources.
- Summer code club - With the summer holidays starting soon, we have now begun work on our annual ‘Summer Code Club’, a coding boot camp where each week we share a new project. Sessions starting at 10:00 and 14:00 that you can join us online from home, school or anywhere with a computer with internet access.
All of our sessions are totally free and don’t require any coding knowledge to take part.
In the meantime, explore our website’s free resources. If you’d like to join our Code Playground Club, browse our available sessions and sign your class up.
Parents of future coding geniuses, if you think that your child’s school needs to hear about Code Playground, contact us and we can get in touch with the faculty and introduce them to everything Barclays Code Playground has to offer.