What is the Global Codeathon?

The Global Codeathon is a coding conference for students from Grades 1-6. During Codeathon day, the students spend the afternoon learning how to code, collaborating with other young coders and creating their own programs. The students also virtually meet with students from around the world through a video conference. 

In the weeks leading to Codeathon day, we have an Advanced Competition for intermediate coders who would like to showcase their work based on our annual theme. This year's theme is Defend the Earth.


When is the Global Codeathon?

The Global Codeathon will be taking place on Saturday, May 6th. Please read our Schedule page for more information.


How is this different from the Hour of Code?

The major difference is that the Global Codeathon is an event where students are connected in real time with other coders around the world. We see this as a complement to the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code gets students excited about coding and the Global Codeathon connects those students to others around the world. It gives them a chance to create and it inspires them.


Can students who have no prior knowledge in coding participate?

Absolutely. The Global Codeathon was not only made to celebrate the achievements of students who are already coding but also offer opportunities for students to be introduced to the creative and challenging world of coding.


Is this a competition?

There is an optional competition prior to the event called the Advanced Competition. Because our timing is limited on the day of the Global Codeathon we keep that day as a non-competitive learning experience.


How will we be connecting in real time?

The Global Codeathon uses Google Hangouts to connect in real time. This allows participating schools to keep an eye on what other schools are doing and even share their screens for everyone to see. For 2016 we will have following real time connections:

Opening ceremony where schools introduce themselves

Midway check in

Advanced competition results and demonstration from the winners

Coding Slam - share what you made during the Codeathon

Closing ceremony


What if I have no prior knowledge in coding. Can I really organize an event at my school?

Though some experience would be helpful, what really makes this event successful are teachers who are willing to get out of their comfort zone and see where it takes them. The main work you will need to do in preparation for the event include:

Receive approval from one’s school administration to hold the event.

Getting the word out and getting students signed up for the event.

Attending periodic Google Hangout Sessions with the Global Codeathon team and other participating teachers to prepare for the event.

Logistically setting up the event at your school (parent permissions, booking a space etc.)


Is this a competition?

There is an optional competition prior to the event called the Advanced Competition. Because our timing is limited on the day of the Global Codeathon we keep that day as a non-competitive learning experience.


Who will be leading the sessions for my students?

Unlike the first year of the Global Codeathon, the Global Codeathon team will not be leading a beginner and intermediate session from Hanoi. Instead we will organize the sessions and work with participating teachers the weeks before the event so that they are confident in leading their students. Also, the Global Codeathon team will set up a back channel help desk where both teachers and students can ask questions and get help remotely.

The above change is to give ownership to the participating schools and also minimizes the risk of technical failures as a live global event can be quite tricky.


Can my students participate even if we can't make the live event?

We strongly encourage students to participate in the live event so they can experience the real time connections with students just like them across the world. However, we can work with schools individually to find adjustments so as many schools can participate.  


What if I have students older than Grade 6, can they still participate?

We would encourage older students to assist teachers in leading sessions. This could be as simple as technical assistance with hardware to running the actual session.


Do I have to use Scratch? What about other programs like Hopscotch?

For the advanced competition we are asking that everyone use Scratch. However, we also encourage schools to use the program of their choice. The reason why we chose Scratch is that is web based and the Studios are a great place to showcase work and easily see what students from across the world are doing.