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Coding Club from home – Connect with MS Teams

Access the Junior Coding Club in Microsoft Teams

While Office 365 Education is the building of the Junior Coding Club, the rooms inside are in Microsoft Teams, the perfect application for this purpose.

The Coding Club classrooms and the school hall are inside Microsoft Teams. This is where students in classrooms and projects interact socially, have fun and work together.

Installation

Download Microsoft Teams and install the software on the devices of your child. If you use a tablet, like an iPad, you need to install MS Teams through the AppStore or the PlayStore.

 

Download – Link: https://teams.microsoft.com/uswe-01/downloads

or

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/download-app

On iPad download Microsoft Teams from the App Store.

On Samsung tablets or any other go to the Play Store.

Do a test login into MS Teams with the login credentials above (school account). If you face a problem, write an email to us: support@codingclub.cc.

Join the live-online class

Login into MS Teams 15 minutes before the start of the class. From there you will be invited and guided to the videoconference room.  Just wait for an invitation message to pop up.

Start Microsoft Teams and login with the children Coding Club account. Now you will see two team rooms if you are new and three team rooms if you are a regular CC member. Choose “CC Spring Holiday Camp” and enter the top channel named “General” or “Allgemein”. Inside the channel you can connect to the video conference. If you can find it, look for a blu icon or a blue area bar with a “Join” button. Links and announcements are also in the channel.

The tutor will start the video conference usually 15 – 30 minutes before the start. That way you can login earlier, test your computer and get used to the application. The more fluent your child is with MS Teams or any other meeting app the better will be your experience.

Three important MS Teams functions your child should practise:

  1. The screen “Share” function. So your child will be able to share her screen to present something. It is also important for us teachers so we can help fixing a problem on your child’s computer.
  2. The mute button. We need to learn discipline especially in online meetings and avoid distraction from noise through all those microphones connected. The default setting for a students should be being on mute. In MS Teams, responsibility about being muted or not lies sorely by the participants (the students). They need to learn this responsibility. If a student wants to say something in a large group they should post a message (teacher will read) and wait for their call. In small groups it is ok if the students unmute themselves (they are allowed to unmute) and raise their voice cautiously.
  3. Finding the way back from the video screen back to the message postings. The message posts or board in the general channel are filled with links where links guide the students to learning resources on other websites.

b) Download and install Microsoft Teams

Direct access to classroom

I know what to do. I have the Junior Coding Club student account and password.
Members only
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Edit student account and password

HowTo edit the student account and password in Microsoft 365

About the student account

Your child’s Junior Coding Club username is basically an email address composed by the first name of your child separated with a dot “.” and the first letter of the last name followed by “@codingclub.cc”.

Example: simon.b@codingclub.cc

It is a fully functional email address which is also the single sign-on (SSO) into the Microsoft Office 365 student account and other education applications.

The (secure) password

Every student starts with a generic password. The students are obliged to change their password as soon as possible with their own creation.

1. Login to the Junior Coding Club

For the login page, click here: https://login.microsoft.com/

Type in the username / email address and you will recognise the Digitaltutor Coding Club welcome screen.

Now fill in the password.

Office 365 Education dashboard

2. Change the password

This is one of the first topics children should learn: The use of passwords and why they are important. We decided to require a strong policy about passwords even if this is a steep learning challenge for the young students. With the help of the Tutor or with the parents, children will be able to construct a secure password on a high standard soon. 

Psst ... the password must contain at least 8 characters and 3 combinations of the following: capital and lowercase letters, numbers, or special characters (§$%&...) .

Hacky Hack

Train yourself to remember at least one password that you never, repeat: NEVER ever tell someone except your parents.

Recommended password generators:

https://www.dinopass.com

3. Change profile information

Profil information are only visible to other members of the Junior Coding Club. Add information about yourself cautiously and only if it is relevant for your class mates. 

In the My Office Profile page you can add (and edit):

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Getting startet with the school / student account

Coding Club Student Account and Login

About the student account

Your child’s Junior Coding Club username is basically an email address composed by the first name of your child separated with a dot “.” and the first letter of the last name followed by “@codingclub.cc”.

Example: simon.b@codingclub.cc

It is a fully functional email address which is also the single sign-on (SSO) into the Microsoft Office 365 student account and other education applications.

The (secure) password

Every student starts with a generic password. The students are obliged to change their password as soon as possible with their own creation.

First login to the Junior Coding Club

For the login page, click here: https://login.microsoft.com/

Type in the username / email address and you will recognise the Digitaltutor Coding Club welcome screen.

Now fill in the password.

Office 365 Education dashboard

Access the Junior Coding Club in Microsoft Teams

While Office 365 Education is the building of the Junior Coding Club, the rooms inside are in Microsoft Teams, the perfect application for this purpose.

The Coding Club classrooms and the school hall are inside Microsoft Teams. This is where students in classrooms and projects interact socially, have fun and work together.

b) Download and install Microsoft Teams

Direct access to classroom

I know what to do. I have the Junior Coding Club student account and password.
Members only

Download Microsoft Teams and install the software on the devices of your child. If you use a tablet, like an iPad, you need to install MS Teams through the AppStore or the PlayStore.

 

Download and install Microsoft Teams from here: 

https://teams.microsoft.com/uswe-01/downloads

or

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/download-app

On iPad download and install MS Teams from the App Store.

On Samsung tablets or any other go to the Play Store.

Do a test login into MS Teams with the login credentials above (school account). If you face a problem, write an email to us: support@codingclub.cc.

Login into MS Teams 15 minutes before the start of the class. From there you will be invited and guided to the videoconference room.  Just wait for an invitation message to pop up.

Start Microsoft Teams and login with the children Coding Club account. Now you will see two team rooms if you are new and three team rooms if you are a regular CC member. Choose “CC Spring Holiday Camp” and enter the top channel named “General” or “Allgemein”. Inside the channel you can connect to the video conference. If you can find it, look for a blu icon or a blue area bar with a “Join” button. Links and announcements are also in the channel.

I will start the video conference already at 12:45 time so you can login earlier, test your computer and get used to the application. The more fluent your child is with MS Teams or any other meeting app the better will be your experience. 

3 main important functions to start with:

1. The screen “Share” function. So your child will be able to share her screen to present something. It is also important for us teachers so we can help fixing a problem on your child’s computer. 

2. The mute button. We need to learn discipline especially in online meetings and avoid distraction from noise through all those microphones connected. The default setting for a students should be being on mute. In MS Teams, responsibility about being muted or not lies sorely by the participants (the students). They need to learn this responsibility. If a student wants to say something in a large group they should post a message (teacher will read) and wait for their call. In small groups it is ok if the students unmute themselves (they are allowed to unmute) and raise their voice cautiously. 

3. Finding the way back from the video screen back to the message postings. The message posts or board in the general channel are filled with links where links guide the students to learning resources on other websites.

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What you need for a successful homeschooling environment

Requirements for attending Junior Coding Club from home

Software / Apps

Use your favorite browser like Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

You can download the school version of Minecraft from here: Download

The game requires a Microsoft student account to log in. The student account will be provided by the Coding Club administration.

I recommend Notepad++, TextMate or Atom, but there many other good options as well.

Accordion Content
Accordion Content

Computer Devices

What kind of hardware is needed?
The ability to do audio and video calls is mandatory. Click the slider to see different configurations
iPad
Lightweight and easy option
Laptop
Good option for getting things done everywhere
Desktop
Best performance option
Laptop and iPad
Best option for creativity and mobility
iPad and Desktop
Best option for performance and creativity
Laptop and Desktop
Best option for productivity and performance.
Dual Screen Desktop and iPad
Professional Workstation for multitasking and creativity - My favorite
Previous
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If you are facing technical problems shortly before or during the activity, there is actually not much we can help in this moment. Kindly get in touch with us after the class. I’m glad to help and I know it is a difficult situation. Don’t be turned away if it just does not work 100% from the start. It is normal. It is a learning curve and your child will adapt fast. Your kid will enjoy having a project in collaboration with their peers which they can do from home, even being isolated.

Also – is it a problem if my daughter use separate device for teams and Minecraft? (i.e. you want kids to share screen)
 
Absolutely not, this setup would be ideal! Teams is multi-device friendly. Have your daughter logged into teams and let her join into the video conference from both the iPad and your Mac, at the same time, with the same account. Now disable one of the microphones and one of the audio outputs on the two devices. So that only one microphone and one speaker is enabled. Otherwise you will get a sound loop. With that setting your daughter can interact with the classroom in Teams on one screen and on the other screen Minecraft is in front while Teams runs in the background. If she wants to share her Minecraft screen, she can do it by changing the task to Teams and enable screen sharing, then heading back to the Minecraft task. E voilá, everyone will see her presenting and she can still see the participants. 
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Digital games – tips for parents

In the Coding Club we use analogue and digital games, methods of playful, project-based learning and motivation through gamification. At the same time, some children at home have become relatively independent in using digital play and work devices, especially over the lockdown period. They have their own devices at home and discussions about how and for how long the devices can be used are commonplace. 

For many children, it is a disciplinary challenge to use the freedom and possibilities offered by a computer with internet for productive guided but increasingly autonomous learning. A computer in the hands of a savvy child has a high incentive to engage in something other than what is given by the teacher or parents. Some children are very creative and set an example for their classmates when abuse goes unanswered. In principle, a distracting computer game is only a click away at any time. At the same time, the circle of friends becomes more and more important for adolescents, and with it the computer games that are currently “in” in the peer groups. When the urge to play is strong and the motivation to work is low, conflicts will arise.

How do we counter this urge and how can we use it meaningfully for the learning goals? What possibilities are there for a balanced interplay of rules and (creative) freedom? How can we better take into account individual learning types? What agreements can we make regarding media use, from coding club to screen time at home?

For many children and young people, digital games were an integral part of their leisure time even before Corona. The pandemic with the accompanying school closures has, among other things, caused young people to spend even more time on daily online gaming.

There is currently an almost infinite choice of digital games of various genres on the market, which is growing daily.
Besides the often themed shooters, there are also jump ‘n’ run games, sports games, strategy games and much more. As a parent, it is easy to lose track. But which games are suitable for children and young people and what risks can be hidden in some of them? Do girls and boys actually play the same games and are they also concerned about the possible role models that are conveyed in some games?

https://www.mpfs.de/fileadmin/files/Studien/JIM/JIMplus_2020/JIMplus_2020_Corona.pdf (retrieved 29.09.2021)

Many parents often find it difficult to understand their children’s fascination and want support. We show you what to look out for:

Tips for everyday family life:

Show interest: Has your child built an entire castle in Minecraft or completed a level in record time? Talk to them about it, ask them about it, be happy or angry with them. It is important that you take the hobby seriously – this way your child will gain confidence and gain strength and self-confidence.
Play along: Even if it’s hard at first, at the latest after a round of Mario Kart or their first house-building project in Minecraft, you’ll probably be able to understand a little better why it’s sometimes not so easy to keep to screen time – and maybe it was a bit of fun! Your child will remember this – and from now on, will talk to you more often. Even if there are problems.

You can’t ride a bicycle without first talking about traffic rules? Probably not! So why go online without rules? The same goes for digital games: which games? For how long? Who pays? Who do you play with? The more you talk to your child beforehand, the better prepared he or she will be.

What to do in case of stalking and harassment?

Cybergrooming, i.e. the initiation of sexual violence against minors on the internet, does not stop at digital games either: to immerse oneself in the game, a virtual me, a so-called avatar, is often created. Personal characteristics such as age, gender, skin colour, etc. then remain behind this avatar. What on the one hand encourages experimentation with one’s own personality can also backfire if significantly older players pretend to be young people and want to establish contact. Therefore, be vigilant and talk to your child about the risks. Explain to them that not all people on the net have good intentions and encourage them to come to you if they have problems. In some games, you can set who your child can and cannot contact. You can find more information and help here:
https://www.klicksafe.de/themen/kommunizieren/cyber-grooming/standard-titel/

Hate on the Net

Many online games offer the possibility to exchange ideas and chat. Tools like Discord, Teamspeak or Skype are often used to make agreements in the game, to cheer each other on or to chat about the stressful everyday life at school. The tone is not always friendly: insults and hate comments are the order of the day in some gaming communities. Female gamers are often particularly affected, but also people who reveal their religion, origin or sexual identity.

Political activists also use digital games to abuse them for their own purposes.

Dangers of online gaming

The initiative SCHAU HIN! has compiled further tips for safe online gaming on its website. https://www.schau-hin.info/grundlagen/onlinespiele-worauf-muss-ich-achten

What are the characteristics of gender-fair computer games?

Hero characters in computer games are not only female or male, but often go hand in hand with certain clichéd role models assigned to girls or boys. Such games can restrict children’s development with regard to equal opportunities. Gender-fair games, on the other hand, can provide impulses for equal-opportunity child development. Read more here: https://www.gutes-aufwachsen-mit-medien.de/informieren/article.cfm/key.3340/aus.2

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First steps with Minecraft Education Edition

First steps with Minecraft Education Edition

Almost all children are enthusiastic about Minecraft because it is simply fun. This is how we harness passion and motivation.

In the Junior Coding Club we use the Minecraft Education Edition designed for schools. This differs from the normal consumer version (Bedrock and Java version). We use a shared virtual workspace or classroom, and the teacher has classroom management tools at his or her disposal to guide a group virtually in the Minecraft world. 

Another key feature of the education version is the interface to MakeCode or Python Code Builder. This allows children to try out code they have written themselves in Minecraft. MakeCode is very similar to the code building blocks of Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu) and the same programming methods and principles apply.

Each pupil receives his or her personal “virtual” robot in Minecraft and can programme it from there. This is a very good way to simulate robotics projects.

In a shared Minecraft world (multiplayer), social interaction teaches teamwork, collaboration and human values.  It’s like a school playground, but virtual.

In solo player mode, however, there are not these many points of contact. Instead, concentrated work to deepen the knowledge prevails here.

Installation

Download Minecraft Education Edition and install the software by running the downloaded file. The file is an installation package.

You can find the download here: https://education.minecraft.net/get-started/download

On the iPad, you can install the app “Minecraft Education Edition” free of charge via the App Store. The installation happens automatically. If you can’t find it, use the download link at the top of the browser on your iPad.

If Minecraft is used on a laptop, your child will need an additional mouse to operate it.

The strength of Minecraft Education Edition is the educational content such as elaborately created worlds and lessons on many topics and school subjects. To ensure that this content is always up-to-date, the software requires a constant connection to the Internet. In the networks of households and schools, these necessary connections sometimes have to be configured and enabled. You can check whether the software can establish the necessary connections when you start the game for the first time.

Perform a test login in your child’s Minecraft Education Edition account (Coding Club school account). After you have successfully reached the start screen of Minecraft, first test whether your internet connection in the home network is working and Minecraft can access the servers to load and share content: To do this, click on “Play” => then “View Library” => “Lessons” => “Computer Science” => “Hour of Code”.

When the content is loaded, you are ready to go! If you get an error message, please email support@codingclub.cc for help.

Minecraft unfortunately has connection problems now from time to time in multiplayer. In this case, you need to enable a port (TCP/UDP 19132) on your home router. If you can do this, so much the better. We are also happy to help you on the phone to make this setting at home.

Parents entering a Minecraft world for the first time quickly notice that there is no tutorial to get them started. However, there are a few hands-on tutorials in the programme’s library (Play -> Library -> Beginner). The learning curve can be relatively high, depending on your experience with computer games. How do the controls work? How do you craft? And what do the children actually do with it in class? Education.minecraft.net helps you get started. There you will find ready-made worlds to download, teaching ideas, a support area and more. The official Twitter account is @PlayCraftLearn and most often the hashtag #MinecraftEdu is used. Here’s how you could go about it:
  1. Let your child show you the game. Coding Club learners quickly master the controls, know how to craft and know the difference between Survival and Creative modes. As an alternative, you can also play the tutorial world.
  2. Play by yourself! Try to survive the first night in Survival mode.
  3. We are all learners and sometimes your child can be a teacher too. A reason to be proud of your child. 🙂
The official website shows many teaching examples and if you search on Youtube you will notice: there is no typical Minecraft lesson, the game is used in different subjects and classes. Of course, there are obvious topics, such as area calculations, cubes and cuboids in geometry. But Minecraft unfolds its potential in open tasks. The teacher structures and plans the lesson, sets goals and assignments. However, we should also live the Minecraft motto “No one can tell you what you can or cannot do” to some extent in school. By engaging with the ideas of the learners. In this way, surprising Minecraft buildings can emerge.

This is how we work with Minecraft Education in the classroom:

  • We start with a lesson and a building. For beginners, it is better to start in Creative mode.
  • We think about a project. This results in assignments, which we discuss before the learners have started the game (during the building phase, interruptions are disturbing).
  • Now from time to time, a time limit is set. A timer is set up in the classroom so that the learners can keep track of the time. For the assignments, 20 minutes is usually enough once everyone has mastered the basic controls.
  • After the construction phase, group by group, the results are briefly presented.
  • Documentation is possible in the game with the objects camera and portfolio. With these, buildings can be photographed and exported as an image. In the beginning, one can also simply photograph the computer screen with the smartphone or take a screenshot.

Some ideas for first open assignments (by the way, it’s also fun to do online from home together with other Coding Club members):

  • Weekly review: Build something to go with a positive school experience in the past school week.
  • That’s me: In Creative mode, you are a kind of omnipotent ruler over your Minecraft world. Choose a world with a village and build a statue in front of the village to represent you. 
  • Childhood memory: Build a childhood memory. This can be your house, your room, an object, a special place or an experience.
  • Get to know the multiplayer mode: Choose a world with a village. Build a village entrance (gate, city wall, road…).
  • Landmark (also works in multiplayer mode): Build a landmark from your surroundings.
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Covid-19, Pandemic and Lockdown Measures

Covid-19, Pandemic and Lockdown Measures

The Coding Club learning devices and materials are shared with three other schools in the Frankfurt area. The high quality materials are an investment and its flawless operation needs to be ensured by the Coding Club IT service. This share system is an integral part of the main Digitaltutor concept.

The main problem

We are aware about the risk that an infection in one school might be transferred with the Coding Club materials, i.e. iPads or robot products, to the next school. These are the cases identified as the main challenges:

  • Student with Covid-19 infection touches a device, the virus might be on the fingers and then sticks on the screen for some time.
  • Student with Corona infection coughs or “talks” droplets on the device and the virus sticks on the screen for some time.
  • Transfer of the virus from student to teacher and vice versa.

Prevent the virus from spreading

Efforts must be made to ensure that devices and materials used in the Coding Club do not carry the virus. 100% virus free cleaning after every usage would be every demanding procedure and it’s effect can’t be guaranteed, while cleaning with a disinfectant and a cloth before, during and after the club became the rule already back in February. This of course will not guarantee all germs a killed. That is why further measures will be enforced to prevent the virus from spreading on the materials.

The Coding Club hygiene plan

  1. Disinfectants will be provided during the activity, materials will be kept clean as much as possible.
  2. All students (and teacher) have to wash hands properly before the start of the club.
  3. Everyone involved will wear a face mask during the activity. If the students sit and keep distance, they are allowed to take the mask off.
  4. Keeping distance will be the main stance. During teaching it might be necessary i.e. to explain something on the screen next to a student.
  5. In case of an detected infection outside of the Coding Club, AND if the infected student is a participant of the Coding Club, the CC teacher will be informed by the school.  A possible spread will be traced and schools affected will be informed asap.

With these measures enforced I firmly believe the Coding Club materials won’t carry the virus to other schools. Infections between student and teacher will be prevented. Washing hands, keeping distance and wearing masks/shields are in line with public health measures. I discussed this plan with a doctor and he agreed that theses measure are effective for this special case.

No one left behind with the Virtual Coding Club

What about students who cannot attend Coding Club because of health issues? Or if the hygiene measures won’t fit parent concerns? As a separate offer, all parents can register their children for the Virtual Coding Club, an online activity based on high quality education software and a learning platform, in small groups of maximum 4 participants. This activity can be attended from home and will run throughout the year. It is organised outside of the school or Hort program by Digitaltutor and has to be booked separately on the website www.codingclub.cc (offer coming soon). Interested parents are invited to write an email to info@codingclub.cc.

Even with so many uncertainties ahead of the new school year I’m still looking forward to thrive further by teaching digital skills and creating a wonderful experience with the Coding Club.

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Getting startet with codeSpark Academy

Getting startet with codeSpark Academy

With codeSpark Academy we’re learning key computer science concepts that are the foundation to any programming language. With its word-free approach, colorful characters called Foos, and creative coding space, our class is having a blast solving coding puzzles and creating games. I believe that adding codeSpark Academy to my curriculum has helped improve my students’ problem solving and creative abilities.

Get the App

Access the app on desktop at www.codespark.com/play or download it via the App StoreGoogle Play Store, or Amazon.

Student Login Instructions

Once you’ve downloaded the app on your favourite device and received a classroom code from your Coding Club tutor, it’s easy to log in and get started. Just follow these instructions to learn how to code in no time.

Log Into Your codeSpark Classroom

  • Open the codeSpark Academy app.
  • Tap “Schools” in the upper left-hand corner.
  • Select “Students” on the following screen.
  • Select the “Use Classroom Code” button to type in the code handed out by your Coding Club tutor.
  •  A valid code will take you to the codeSpark Academy welcome screen. If your code doesn’t work, contact your teacher for a new code. The code is only valid for a few hours, during which time it must be entered.

Create Your Profile

  • Tap the green play button.
  • Select your real name from the list of students. If you can’t find your name, please contact your teacher.
  • Choose a profile icon. You can change this later if you change your mind.
  • Choose a fun name. This is the name classmates will see when you publish games and stories. Careful! This one’s permanent!
  • Tap the green play button to enter a whole new world of coding. Try a puzzle, explore the lessons, or create your own games and stories!
  • The music in the background can be muted in the overview screen, see below.
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I am not receiving Coding Club emails

Many school networks use very strict security settings both for their network and for their email accounts. As such, many completely harmless and safe automated emails from services are blocked inadvertently. Kodable has never, and will never, made any effort to circumvent these security systems, but there are a couple things you can do to make sure you receive emails from us. 

While you are using Coding Club the following email address should be whitelisted:

Additionally, if you are on a Membership plan or interested in purchasing one, please be sure you whitelist the following addresses to ensure you have no interruptions in service:

Instructions for whitelisting vary by email provider, and you will most likely need to ask your IT admin to do this for you, but here are some instructions for commonly used providers:

Gmail

  • Select “Contacts” under Mail on the left side of the Gmail Inbox.
  • Select Create Contact on the top menu.
  • Enter the email address in the primary email box.
  • Select Save.

Yahoo

  • Open your Yahoo mailbox.
  • Click the address book icon under the Yahoo! Mail logo. When you roll your mouse over it, it will say Contacts.
  • Click “New Contact”.
  • Fill in the fields of your Contact.
  • Click Save.

Outlook.com

  • Select Options from the top right.
  • Select More options > Safe and blocked senders > Safe senders.
  • In the space provided, enter the address.
  • Select Add to list.
  • Ensure the safe mailing lists box has the address you entered, and select OK