The 4C’s of 21st century learning – A Whole-School Approach to Coding

Presented by: Nichola Spokes

This presentation will focus on developing whole-school/organizational strategies in Primary schools which can be expanded on and/or augmented in both ,Secondary and F.Ed centres. The 4 C’s of 21st Century Learning :

Critical Thinking

These 4 C’s underpin are the quintessence of Coding – from the language, procedural and concrete environments to the abstract and challenging manipulation of problems in a creative and collaborative space.

Tools such as:
• Bee-Bots through a focused and targeted stationed approach (based on evidence-based Practice) in creative spaces allowing for collaboration
• Concrete use of Technological tools for Maths/science such as Drones, Sphero, Dash and Dot, Osmo Coding etc..
• Language development around critical thinking and strategies
• Skill development through ETU Breakout (Concrete) and linking this with more abstract tools, such as Bebras (abstract).
(These would only be touched on and how they are developed and led in a whole-school approach). It is where and how these are placed in the Curriculum that is highlighted.

This Presentation will look at

• how the 4 C’s can be embedded in both the national and hidden curriculum using both concrete and abstract methodologies and tools at a whole-school level.
• How this can be led and developed in a school at whole-school level.
• The linkage of these skills with the new Maths Coding Curriculum coming on stream.
• Challenges the word ‘Coding’ may present for many educators. How do we get past that word “Coding’ and highlight the reality that in a lot of schools it is already taking place?

Presenter Biography:

Nichola Spokes is Principal of Lucan Community National School, Ireland’s first “tradigital” primary school, under Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB. With an MA in ICT in Education, and over 13 years experience in leading and developing technology in the Primary school, the success of Lucan CNS provides a centre of excellence in “future-focused” education. To date, Lucan CNS has provided schools, both in Ireland and internationally, with a footprint of how such environments can be created at whole-school level, both at Primary and now Secondary level within the ETBs.

With a future-focused approach to Education, based on innovation, creativity and the best of traditional pedagogy, Lucan CNS is already recognised as one of the leading primary schools for technology-enhanced learning by PDST, DDLETB, Trinity for delivering 21st Century learning and skills , STEM, and the ACAE Creative Awards among others. Based on the successful and progressive development t and implementation of coding skills in the school, Nichola is part of the new NCCA Coding in Primary Schools Initiative.

“My interest in TEL has always been core to how I deliver education to my pupils and more importantly, how I empower my teachers to deliver a tradigital Education in their classrooms. This is key to a complete TEL Environment. Always starting from the where the child is at, technology has the power to transform classrooms and empower pupils to take ownership of their learning, while creating a passion for lifelong learning.”