Virtual lessons: read this first

This is not strictly a guide to our online lessons, but I hope it helps new parents understand what to expect and how to help your son or daughter at online coding club.

About the lessons

  • The lessons start promptly but the teacher will be online a few minutes before the scheduled start time to welcome the children and to help with any connection issues.
  • We use Google Meet for the video lessons. This requires the Google Chrome browser, which is widely used. You don’t need any additional software, you simply just click a link. Make sure you test this before the first lesson.
  • I would encourage you to identify a suitable place in the house where you child can work comfortably – and where you can keep an eye on them should they need your help. Please minimise any background noise.

The virtual classroom

  • We use Seesaw (a virtual classroom) to communicate with parents and students and share lessons plans. Parents receive a login for their child. Please share this login with your son/daughter and show them how to login.
  • The children are expected to login to Seesaw every week. Here you will find the weekly activity your child will be working on. I recommend that you print out the activity as it is easier for most children to follow the instructions that way. The activity are usually ready a day before the lesson.
  • The link to the video lessons will also be available on your Seesaw ‘inbox’. This is to avoid sending too many emails, which are often hard to find when most needed! I send reminders about coding club itself via email.
  • For primary school children, we would normally work in Scratch. Logins to Scratch will be available on your child’s account on Seesaw. Please ensure your child is logged in to Scratch before the lesson starts.
  • It is a good idea to save your Seesaw and Scratch logins to your browser so you don’t have to enter the username and password every time.
  • Every term, I introduce a different activity, which involves accessing a different website. If this is the case, login details will be available on your child’s account on Seesaw.

Code of conduct

  • We have a code of conduct, which you can access on your Seesaw’s inbox. I would encourage you to read this to your son/daughter as it sets the expectations of their behaviour during the lesson.
  • The children are not encouraged to browse websites that are not related to their coding project. I would suggest that you check up on your child at regular intervals to make sure they are engaged with the project at hand.
  • I would suggest that any snacks are given before or after the lesson.

The ‘live’ lesson

  • The teacher will be able to oversee children working ‘live’, see the work in progress, provide ‘live’ feedback and help with any questions.
  • Younger children find it challenging at first; they often lack many digital skills but please don’t despair. We all had to learn how to use the keyboard once! It may appear that your child hasn’t achieved much after the first lesson, but please be reassured that they will acquire a new skill every time they have a lesson. It simply takes time.
  • Please encourage your child to work independently. Do offer help if they absolutely need it. Remember we are building your child’s digital and coding skills and they need to improve their ability to listen to instructions, learn from mistakes in order to build up their ability to solve problems themselves.
  • We hold a ‘show and tell’ at the end of the lesson. If your child is shy and doesn’t want to participate, please let me know. We don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable.
  • If your child is finding the video lessons difficult to follow or there is any other issue, please let me know as soon as possible.
  • I encourage the children to have their video camera ‘on’, but I understand if they wish not to. However, I would like them to turn the camera ‘on’ at the beginning of the lesson… and again before the end.
  • If your child misses a lesson, I would encourage them to make the lesson’s project at a convenient time. They can ask any questions they may have on the Seesaw platform.