Generations Code Together with JT

30th August 2019

This National Coding Week one company has gone a step further to ensure an educational and engaging experience for participants at their coding events. JT, the sponsors of National Coding Week since 2014, have planned a truly unique learning experience, which will hopefully bridge the generational divide by bringing adults and children together for a few hours to share their different skills and in the process, learn how to programme a Sphero BOLT.

Introducing the Sphero BOLT

During the ‘JT Generations Code Together’ workshops, participants will learn how to program a Sphero BOLT (an app enabled robotic ball) to perform a series of challenges. Open to pairs, one adult (no age limit) and one child (age 8 – 13yrs) the event seeks to join together two generations for an exciting, thrill inducing, educational 2-hour session. JT will host events in both Jersey and Guernsey, which are open to everyone, but spaces are limited so book your place fast!

JT recruited Colin King, the lead mentor of the Jersey Coders Club, to design a bespoke interactive session for the 2019 National Coding Week which would unravel some of the mysteries of coding in a friendly and jargon-free environment. We caught up with Colin to ask him about the Sphero BOLT, how it works, why it was chosen for the JT events and what his top tips are for running an intergenerational event.

Where did your journey with the Sphero BOLT begin  ?

“Having been an early adopter of the technology using this with my own son, I had first hand experience in how this technology can bring two generations closer together. This event is very much about switching people from being consumers to becoming creators of technology”

So how does a Sphero BOLT work ?

“ The device uses bluetooth to communicate with your smart phone/tablet which then allows you to program the Sphero BOLT and analyse your programming. The Sphero BOLT also has built-in programming sensors for collision detection and point light source detection. In a learning environment this technology is both versatile, educational and great fun!“

Colin’s top tips to running an intergenerational event

  1. Pace – You have to move at a moderate pace to allow for the discussions that take place between the two generations
  2. Reverse learning – Ensuring that both participants are able to learn from one another, the child being able to teach the adult and vice-versa.
  3. Fun and engaging –  The event has to allow for creativity and be a journey of discovery; mishaps and miscalculations will happen and should be seen as a learning opportunity.