About Kodu Kup: Greece
According to the European Commission and the “New Media Consortium” report, it is estimated that by 2020, the 90% of jobs will require high quality education and digital skills.
Greece has already focused on promoting digital skills in schools in order to meet the European digital educational programmes and the requirements of the labor market worldwide. The development of digital skills in schools and the necessity to introduce Information and Communication Technologies in education are considered as the most pressing challenges, which European education has to face.
Informatics in Greece is not a dream; it’s a reality. Young people are now more interested in New Technologies than some years ago (the informatics departments of Greek Universities are the most popular). Many small-medium enterprises develop constantly their know-how on various specialised platforms and get specialisation in specific fields. The Informatics Market has definitely many important services to offer.
It is important to stress than in December 2013, Greece ranked 4th at the international event “Hour of Code” organised by code.org,! The aim of this event – through its motto “Anybody can learn!” – was to prove that anyone can learn fundamental informatics principles and develop skills of programming, innovation and creativity.
The Kodu Kup Europe competition was announced in Greece during the E-skills for Jobs conference. We thought it was an excellent opportunity for Greek students and promoted it through social media, in cooperation with Microsoft and the Federation of Hellenic ICT Enterprises (SEPE), in order to motivate teachers to create their own teams for the competition.
Team: PN Gaming
Georgios Nikiforos Avgoustidis, Third Grade
Panos Economou, Third Grade
Both students have participated in programming competitions such as the Greek Programming Competition, where they managed to get to the finals. They also have received a distinction from the AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance).
Having realized that every single device functions with code, software and programming, they are convinced about the importance of informatics in real life. Therefore, they decided to participate in the Kodu Kup Europe competition to improve their programming skills.
Project: “Behind the Red”
The team’s game is called “BEHIND THE RED”. Its main object is the exploration of planet Mars. Through nine different missions, the player learns basic information about Mars, the missions in space and if he wishes to, can seek for more advanced knowledge through answering questions. The game has 3 action terrains, 9 levels, 195 lines of code and it took 270 hours of work.
Find out more about Team Greece at their website!
Vassilis Economou, IT Manager at Doukas School
Vassilis Economou has been the IT Manager at Doukas School since 1994. Since 2004, he has been the head of the Doukas School “1:1 Computing Team”, which aims to introduce and develop the Student Personal Computer into the educational procedure. Beginning in 2006, he has been member of Doukas School “Quality Research Team”. Hae is certified validator specialized in the evaluation of companies according to the standards of the European Foundation for Quality Management – “Commitment to Excellence”. He has also participated as researcher and analyst-programmer in more than 20 projects concerning ICT in Education and in Special Education as well. He has participated in the development of ICT software (more than 50 software titles). He continues to train hundreds of teachers to develop ICT in educational practice. He has developed various Management Information Systems in several programming environments. He has published articles and studies in educational magazines, and has presented several papers in scientific conferences related to the “introduction of ICT in educational procedure” and “quality in education”.
Why learning how to code is important for young people
The development of Information and Communication Technologies and their role to our society are constantly growing. This is the reason why they occupy an important place in every modern curriculum. Helping students get familiar with these technologies (technological literacy), understand basic notions of Informatics and develop their skills is now considered as important as reading and writing (Unesco/IFIP, 2000).
Programming – as a cognitive student activity – contributes to the development of a well-structured thought. It is also considered a powerful tool for teaching basic notions, which can be applied to subjects such as mathematics, physics and logic (Papert 1980, Howe et al. 1989). It is difficult for students to acquire fundamental notions (such as variables, choice structures, repetition structures etc.) through the traditional teaching methods. However, this is not the case of problem-solving procedures using programming tools. Moreover, the contribution of programming in the development of high quality skills and the procedures of transferring problem-solving skills to other cognitive areas have been broadly studied and recognised (Clements 1987, Kagan 1989, Mayer, Dyck & Vilberg 1989, Kurland et al. 1989, Palumbo & Reed 1991, Ennis 1994, Pirolli & Recker 1994)