Teaching Python Online to Primary Students

Marg has been teaching programming online to students for many years, starting with 'Klik and Play' in 1996. Although now semi-retired, she works from home, teaching programming online to students in years 4-8 from schools across Tasmania, as part of the Department of Education's GO! Gifted Online program. Marg has designed the courses, and classroom teachers across the state nominate up to 5 students each to participate in 'Python4WhipSnakes' and 'Python JumpStart'. These students are then allocated up to an hour a week of classtime to participate in the courses, and many also choose to spend much of their own time working on the program. In this talk Marg will outline why these courses are needed, how they operate, how the students are kept engaged and motivated through elements of gamification, and highlight some of the positive aspects and successes of this style of teaching, as well as some of the challenges.

Presented by

Marg Meijers

Education Consultant and Teacher Marg delivers online extension courses in coding for students in years 4-10 in schools across Tasmania for the Department of Education. She also teaches after school coding to primary students as part of a transition to high school program. She is a semi-retired teacher who is still passionate about improving learning outcomes for students, particularly with regard to ICT.

Marg has taught in secondary classrooms for 17 years, and has been curriculum coordinator for ICT at each of the schools where she has taught. During her career as a secondary Digital Technology teacher, Marg was recognised for her innovative teaching approaches using games in learning at both a national and global level. Her teaching awards included a Microsoft Innovative Teacher Worldwide Award, Australian Council for Computers in Education Outstanding Teacher Award, Teaching Australia Best National Achievement and a Hardie Fellowship.