In response to the coronavirus pandemic, EU Code Week moved to a new hybrid model in 2020 and introduced virtual events to facilitate the online participation of schools across Europe and beyond. The measures included a calendar of online featured events, a digital treasure hunt and a virtual kick-off event with the participation of European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, Professor Mitch Resnick, book author Linda Liukas and Professor Alessandro Bogliolo.
European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said:
Learning computational thinking and trying coding at an early age is not only exciting, but essential to prepare our young generation for the future: Everyone needs digital skills to study, work, communicate and use online services in a safe way. Europe faces a shortage of digital talent mastering data, artificial intelligence and other advanced digital technologies. I congratulate all those involved in EU Code Week working to make more young people digitally empowered and interested in studies and careers in digital technology.
84% of Code Week activities in schools
19% of the 72,000 activities were organised online, and 84% were organised through schools. 55% focused on playful coding activities and 20% on basic programming concepts. But an increasing number focused on more advanced STEM activities such as robotics, game design or data manipulation. 20% of activities were “unplugged” meaning they did not use any technology. The average participant was 10 years old and 41% of participants were girls and 59% were boys.
Most active countries
The most active countries in the EU were Poland with 20,653 activities and 632,000 participants, Italy (9,833 activities and 330,000 participants), Austria (3,192 activities and nearly 65,000 participants) and Romania (1,955 activities and nearly 60,000 participants). Outside the EU, the overall champion was Turkey with 23,580 activities and over 1.7 million participants.
Focus on teacher training helped reach students worldwide
Last year, Code Week introduced even more online resources to help educators teach coding in school. The new training materials include an introduction to Artificial Intelligence for schools, Coding for sustainability goals, a series of webinars, and a collection of virtual workshops, called Coding@Home by Professor Alessandro Bogliolo.
Additionally, two massive open online courses (MOOCs) organised in 2020 enjoyed the active participation of 4,000 teachers worldwide. Topics included coding, computational thinking, visual programming, robotics, and app development. A new three-module MOOC ‘AI Basics for Schools’ is about to start on 8 March 2020.
In 2020, teachers and other activity organisers were challenged to build alliances with each other or across borders. 15,994 people managed to connect with more than 9 other organisers and/or in two other countries and were awarded Code Week 4 All certificates.
Moreover, 1,359 people organised 10 or more activities each and have been awarded the Super Organiser Certificates.
In 2020, Code Week partnered up with several other international organisations to spread digital skills around the globe. Code.org founder Hadi Partovi joined Code Week with a virtual Hour of Code for Code Week participants. Meet and Code was another initiative that joined forces with EU Code Week to organise numerous coding activities across Europe.
What is EU Code Week?
EU Code Week is a grassroots movement run by volunteers: Code Week ambassadors, leading teachers and other coding enthusiasts around the world. It is backed by the European Commission and education ministries in the European Union and beyond. The European Commission supports EU Code Week as part of its Digital Single Market strategy and through the Digital Education Action Plan.
- EU Code Week 2020 results (.pdf)
- EU Code Week 2020 scoreboard
- Professional development for teachers: AI MOOC
- Resources: Coding@Home
- Resources: Teach and Learn
- EU Code Week 4 All challenge