#Gritty #Scratchy Inaugural Primary School Global Codeathon 2014

Global Codeathon Poster

Global Codeathon 2014 Poster

Global Codeathon 2014 Poster


Learning to Code takes grit!  It’s not like playing a computer game where you can get successes right away and instant gratification.

Yesterday was the inaugural Primary School Global Codeathon.  It was also World Scratch Day. Yesterday gave students and teachers around the world a chance to “itch that [coding] scratch” and to become more “gritty” in the process.

I became connected with this Codeathon through Dan Slaughter, because he is a fellow Coetailer in my cohort. Gosh, the Coetail Community is a bunch of amazing educators:  innovative, bold, and willing to push the boundaries of technology to redefine teaching & learning.  Imagine what risk-taking it took for Dan to try such a thing.  He made the entire world his stage in order to teach children to code. Huge opportunities for epic-gains but also for epic-fails!  Jeff Utect @jutecht would be so proud!

Without further ado, I give you my “storify” of that day and how that day came to be.  I think you will agree that Dan, Mindy, Michelle, and Heidi (the founders of the event) made epic-gains.  I’m so proud to be connected to them as they gave me my little part in joining them for the inaugural Primary School Global Codeathon 2014.


About Vivian

Vivian @ChezVivian is a Canadian-born Chinese, currently living in Switzerland. She has also lived in Hong Kong and Indonesia. She holds a M.S. (focus: Educational Technology Integration), B.Ed and a B.A. and graduate studies in Kodály and Orff music pedagogy. She is an elementary school classroom generalist, but has also taught as a music specialist, ESL/EAL and also in Learning Support. Most of her teaching career was in International Schools in Hong Kong. She is excited about the IBPYP and the possibilities of using technology to Inquire. Recently, she has been looking at the opportunities that computer programming gives to put #TECHXture back into the hands of children. In other words, technology need not be just about looking at screens. It can be about building things with our hands; and computer programming levels-up what children can do with the things they build---encouraging higher thinking skills. She is a Coetail Post-graduate Certificate grad ('13-'14), a former Coetail Coach and one of the co-founders of #CoetailChat. Her blog home chezvivian.coetail.com curates her assignments for Coetail and her M.S. graduate studies about Educational Technology integration and anything else educationally-related that she feels inspired to write about. Her twitter tagline sums it up: "Mom to 4, Mentor, Educator, Musician (in that order)".
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4 Responses to #Gritty #Scratchy Inaugural Primary School Global Codeathon 2014

  1. Wow Vivian! Thank you so much for capturing all of this for us. You have done an amazing job of retelling the story. You give yourself too little credit though. You have certainly been a huge part of my coding journey and you really helped get the codeathon going. Thanks for all of your encouragement, feedback, connections, expertise and on and on. When we first put this idea of a global codeathon for kids out into public you were the very first person to respond. You were ready to take a risk right away. We definitely will have to keep this going next year and it should just get better and better. Thanks.

    • Vivian says:

      Hi Mindy

      Thanks for your kind words. Some people plant the seeds. Some people water. Some people reap the harvest. I guess you can call me a “waterer” and one that points you to the sunlight! 😉

      I’m very grateful to Jennifer Fenton @jennysfen http://www.twitter.com/jennysfen for inviting my son and I to her campus so we could “play” as well. I wasn’t able to get my Infinite Loop Coding Club https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVUKe9ajakE off the ground early enough to bring any children to this year’s event.

      Hoping to join again next year and to bring more children along! 🙂


  2. Thanks again for the storify and your reflections on the event. I do feel very nostalgic when I read through it. I was really glad that you not only participated but jumped right in and helped out in Geneva. I always saw you working with the students on the Hangout and know Jennifer appreciated the help.

    The team appreciated all your support and look forward to making it even better next year. Also, I look forward to reading your future posts on the Infinite Loop Coding Club.


    • Vivian says:

      Hi Dan @dslaughter

      As you know, I have some extra time on my hands. I enjoy writing and I think the storify shows the power of Twitter and your online connections (PLN). You can do great things with a great team, across the globe, and each of us doing our part.

      My role was more of a connector and a historian for the day.

      If any educator has his doubts about the value of Twitter, all he needs to do is to read through this story. When you’re a part of Twitter, you’re a part of the global community. So you naturally start thinking “world-wide” when are thinking of starting a project. I’m super impressed by your risk-taking. It took guts, big time!

      The event went off very smoothly. The kids had a good time and that’s what counts. We’ve learned a few things for next year. It can only get better.

      I foresee big things ahead for your Codethon. I think there will be many schools asking to join next year. I’m hoping my Storify will be good advertising for you. A story tells even more than a picture. Next year, you might have to run several separate Codeathons on the day. 🙂 Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

      I started my Coding Club today. The kids enjoyed themselves. They had me racking my brains a lot. I’ve done all the puzzles but that doesn’t mean I can remember how I solved it several months ago…

      It’s really interesting to be involved in something where I am feeling my way through the dark and trusting the kids to help each other and to help me out when we’re stuck.

      My Coding Club is my Coetail Graduation Final Project, so that means my Final Project video won’t be done until July.