Developing Digital Skills

An Hour of Code is a one hour long introduction lesson to programming, motivated by the belief that anyone can and should learn the basic principles of coding. In the week from 7 until 13 December this international campaign globally promotes the importance of developing digital skills. The Hour of Code campaign is instrumental in creating awareness that knowledge of technology and the principles of code is relevant to almost any job position.

Hour of Code in Amsterdam

The Netherlands participates in the Hour of Code campaign with a record number of companies, schools and organisations actively introducing people to programming. Likewise in Amsterdam where a great number of activities will take place with numerous schools and companies facilitating an Hour of Code. Amsterdam based startup Bomberbot offers free Hour of Code activities on their website, and NEMO, the science and technology centre in Amsterdam, offers fun workshops. Coding lessons will also be offered to children in a refugee centre in Amsterdam. In past weeks, parents and other adults in the centre have been trained to facilitate a CodeUur –a playful coding lesson aimed at young kids–, for which the course material has been translated into Arabic.

The week is topped off with the Project Prep Awards in Vondelpark in Amsterdam. This red carpet event for the youngest of entrepreneurs is initiated by InspiringFifty and promotes technology among young girls.

Support for Hour of Code by Dutch celebrities

Dutch celebrities have pledged their support to the Hour of Code campaign in various ways. State Secretary Sander Dekker and Neelie Kroes will join a coding class run by the foundation CodeUur. For the campaign posters, with American equivalents starring the likes of Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg, Dutch celebrities offered their cooperation. You can spot Neelie Kroes, Jim Stolze, Boris Veldhuizen van Zanten, Kajsa Ollongren, Belle Zimmerman, Kim Lammers, Diane Matroos and Angelique Houtveen expressing their support to the importance of learning how to code. Hour of Code is organised world-wide by Code.org. In the Netherlands the initiative has been taken up by StartupDelta, Codepact and InspiringFifty.

Bringing coding to Amsterdam’s schools

One of StartupAmsterdam’s goals is to integrate coding in all school curriculums in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. To achieve this, it works together with the foundation CodeUur. Every week, CodeUren (‘hours of code’), are taught around schools in Amsterdam. Together with Waag Society and CodeUur, StartupAmsterdam has developed CodePower, a course on how to teach these coding lessons to young students, creating a teacher base in Amsterdam. Not only school teachers, but also students from the Amsterdam Mediacollege and other aspiring teachers from the corporate world now teach coding classes in Amsterdam’s schools. To show support for the importance of coding education, companies can adopt a class for 500 Euros, with this adoption a school class will receive coding lessons for one year.