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Anne McMorrough, PhD talks about Coding in the Classroom on Silicon Republic for Coding Week, 2016.

Marino Institute of Education has a strong emphasis on technology and teaching in their master’s degree programme for student teachers. Lecturer Anne McMorrough runs several workshops throughout the year to introduce her student teachers to the basics of computer programme, Scratch, and how it can animate and elevate children’s learning and motivation.

McMorrough believes there is great potential to bring code to the classroom, but it is “highly complex and needs to be very carefully thought through” at all levels in order to be successful. She said she prefers to introduce coding more indirectly with a programme like Scratch. “I find this helps children to make sense of coding to figure out problems, as well as affording them opportunities to be creative in their thinking and learning,” she said.

During EU Code Week, Marino will run two interactive workshops for students in its master’s programme. This will introduce student teachers to the basics of Scratch with a view to using it in a classroom setting. “This aims to show the student teachers how coding can be used to enhance and extend, for example, children’s literacy in an interesting way, rather than focusing on Scratch as a coding tool in isolation,” she said. The workshops will run back-to-back on Thursday, 20 October starting at 9am.

McMorrough also hopes to introduce these workshops to more pre-service student teachers throughout the year as well as the BSc Early Childhood Education programme down the line.

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