DIS-CODE, Disconnected, discouraged, disenabled? Let's code!
The DIS-CODE project aims at empowering 12 to 18-year-old students by enhancing their digital skills, mathematical competences, coding and transversal skills, such as abstract and analytical thinking, logic and problem-solving skills. To this purpose, teachers are trained in the use of innovative teaching and learning methodologies, including gamification, project-based learning and flipped classrooms.
The DIS-CODE project develops an innovative method to teach digital skills, mathematics and the basics of coding to students who are at risk of dropping out. DIS-CODE makes ad-hoc training activities based on innovative teaching methods, such as flipped classrooms, in which the traditional educational method is flipped and class lectures are replaced by students’ self-learning, and homework replaced by group work and exercises in class. Such innovative teaching methods are useful both for involving more families in students' education and for tackling learning difficulties through a more personalised and tailored approach to learning. With these methods, students learn by doing and the teacher’s role is to guide the way. Thus, the lecture format of teaching and learning is no longer the driver for developing concept mastery.
Country: Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal
Coordinator: Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, http://www.fondazionepolitecnico.it/en/
Target groups: policy makers, secondary school students, teachers
Topic: Computer science, Information technology, Maths, Technology, Education
Start year: 2016
End year: 2018
Contact person: Tommaso Dalla Vecchia, Email tommaso.dallavecchia (at) eun.org
Two of the project’s main activities are particularly relevant for researchers.
First, the consortium conducts an analysis of the needs of its target groups, to understand the drivers, attitudes and gaps faced by students who are at risk of dropping out within the regions concerned, in subjects such as numeracy, digital literacy, coding, problem-solving and computational thinking.
Second, European Schoolnet, a network of 34 European Ministries of Education, leads the process of drafting new policy recommendations for effective promotion of students' digital education and innovative learning methods for the prevention of Early School Leaving, by gathering students’ voices in Europe.
Four of the project’s main activities are particularly relevant for educators.
First, a training plan on the learning management system is developed and made available. This plan examines how digital and numerical skills can be improved, how basic computer programming competences can be acquired, as well as computational thinking and transversal skills.
Second, DIS-CODE delivers a training for trainers based on the concept of the Future Classroom Lab. Expert teachers on innovative training methodologies train two teachers per country, after which those teachers carry out pilot tests in their schools and become national “ambassadors”.
Third, pilot testing of DIS-CODE methodologies to suit the learners' needs. A proper learning environment is created for each student, in which practical and amusing approaches engage and involve students with the aim of actively improving their numerical and digital knowledge.
Fourth, for the project’s validation and fine-tuning, it takes feedback and input for improvements into account in the evaluation report which serves to generate final versions of the DIS-CODE outputs.