Equipping Teachers with Coding and Robotics Skills for the Foundation Phase

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution surges, integrating technology and digital literacy in education is essential. The new CAPS subject, Coding and Robotics, presents an opportunity to prepare young minds for the challenges of a technologically-driven future. Cambridge has developed a cutting-edge workshop, “Coding and Robotics for Foundation Phase Teachers,” to equip educators with the necessary skills and print and digital resources to effectively teach coding and robotics to young learners. I was the product owner for this subject area and these instructional products.

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Empowering Africa’s Future Through the Mandela Day Coding Tournament

As the African continent gears up to commemorate the annual Mandela Day, there’s palpable anticipation in the air, particularly among those connected to Tangible Africa. This non-profit organization’s flagship event, the Mandela Day Coding Tournament, is poised to make a significant splash.

The tournament had an impressive engagement with 6,000 participants across South Africa the previous year. However, the event this year is poised to eclipse that record. Tangible Africa aims to host nearly 100 coding tournaments, an ambitious endeavour expected to draw more than 10,000 learners from different regions.

With the steadfast support of the primary sponsor, AWS InCommunities, and increasing participation from regional sponsors recognizing the initiative’s potential, Tangible Africa is strategically positioned to stage possibly the world’s largest Mandela Day event.

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Integrating Scratch in the CAPS Curriculum

Integrating Scratch into CAPS offers an opportunity for educators to provide engaging and innovative learning experiences for their learners. Incorporating technology like Scratch in the primary curriculum enhances learners’ understanding of concepts and helps them develop vital skills for today’s society.

Scratch is a visually programming environment that encourages children to create interactive stories, animations, and games. Integrating Scratch into the curriculum shows a noticeable improvement in learner’s enthusiasm for learning and ability to grasp complex topics more quickly. When used effectively, Scratch can foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration in learners across various age groups and subject areas.

Blending Scratch with traditional teaching methods has helped create a more dynamic and engaging learning environment. Learners are excited to explore new ideas and concepts through hands-on experiences, which leads to a deeper understanding of the curriculum content. 

Scratch Code for a mathematics activity

Overview of Scratch

Scratch and MIT

Scratch is a programming language the MIT Media Lab developed, specifically designed for beginners and younger learners. It employs a simple drag-and-drop interface, allowing them to create interactive stories, games, and animations without necessarily having mastered complex programming concepts. I firmly believe that integrating Scratch into the CAPS Curriculum can benefit our learners.

Using Scratch in the classroom fosters creativity and problem-solving skills, which are essential for children growing up in today’s technology-driven world. By introducing Scratch in the primary curriculum, aims to equip our learners with the tools to innovate and express themselves digitally.

With the community’s support, Scratch constantly evolves and adapts to education needs. There are already numerous resources, such as the Scratch Curriculum Guide, offering educators a comprehensive series of 60-minute sessions designed to facilitate the integration of Scratch into the classroom. This curriculum guide covers various subjects, including arts, stories, games, computers, and math.

With MIT’s support and an ever-growing community, Scratch is poised to positively impact our learners’ education, equipping them with critical skills for the future.

Want to jump straight in? I’ve written posts on how to use Scratch with the new Coding and Robotics curriculum:

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