Children playing Rapid Router

Welcome to the Ocado Technology Webinars, where you can hear from the people building the ground-breaking, game-changing technology that powers Ocado, the world’s largest online-only grocery retailer.

In this webinar Celine Boudier, Code for Life team leader, talks about how a group of volunteers at Ocado Technology are creating an educational platform to inspire the next generation of technologists.

 

Key Takeaways

 

  • Education is one of the four core values of the Ocado Group, alongside promoting entrepreneurship, protecting the environment, and encouraging people to eat well
  • Teaching children to program is not just about nurturing future software engineers but also providing everyone with a meta-skill that has a transformative potential in our increasingly digital world
  • Many educators find teaching their students the basic skills and thinking required for programming much more difficult than explaining the syntax of a programming language
  • Rapid Router is an educational game from Code for Life that focuses on developing the logical thinking skills required for programming in primary school children
  • The Rapid Router package includes many other resources for teachers looking to teach computing, including full lessons plans, code examples, classroom activities and more

 

0:15: Code for Life is an initiative aiming to address the challenges faced by educators teaching computing in primary schools

1:12: The project is mostly volunteer-based but also includes a robust full-time team made up of software interns and a UX expert from Ocado Technology

1:34: Understanding the fundamentals of programming is a life skill for many children growing up in an increasingly online world

3:30: Code for Life has been designed to help teachers help students interested in computing

4:40: Rapid Router is the first educational game created by Code for Life, teaching algorithms and computing skills through Blockly and Python

6:13: How Rapid Router helps children migrate progressively from Blockly to Python

6:44: Alongside the actual game, teachers have access to a portal where they can create virtual classrooms and register new students

7:05: The design of the Code for Life portal and Rapid Router game is based on different teacher personas created after extensive user research and interviews

9:30: Code for Life also focuses on bridging the gap between gaining basic computing skills and being competent at programming

10:25: The next big educational game from Code for Life will target secondary schools and will teach the basics of AI and Python

11:12: The Code for Life team is also working on creating a mobile app version of Rapid Router using C# and the Unity game engine, and translating the games into other languages

12:24: An overview of the technology stack currently in use for Rapid Router and future games

14:00: Ways to learn more and contribute to the project, including our GitHub profiles for Code for Life, Rapid Router and our upcoming AI game, social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) and translation website.

More about our webinars

You can keep up to date with the webinars by subscribing to our YouTube channel. This article provides clickable links that take you directly to the highlighted part of the video clip.

March 22nd, 2017

Posted In: Blog

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Rapid Router winter scene

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?

Ocado has employed the services of Santa and the world’s most famous red-nosed reindeer to help students improve their coding skills.

Used by over 1,400 schools and more than 70,000 individual users, Rapid Router is a free, open source game developed by Ocado Technology and ICT teachers that helps Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2) pupils understand programming basics and introduces them to the Python programming language.

Rapid Rudolph!

A massive snowstorm has just fallen over the Rapid Router world. Everything is now covered in snowflakes and the ponds are frozen, but Santa is determined as ever to navigate his sled on the windy roads of Rapid Router.

But with Christmas fast approaching, lots of new orders have arrived and the sled is overwhelmed. It’s up to you to save the day and guide Santa and Rudolph to their many destinations using Blockly and Python.

The Santa-powered Rapid Router is available for free now. Have fun!

Get involved

Rapid Router is developed by Code for Life, an initiative started by Ocado to get every child interested in coding. As the world’s largest online-only supermarket, Ocado understands the importance of cultivating the next generation of computer scientists. Just as we have used technology to revolutionise the way people buy groceries, Code for Life will help equip students with the skills needed to revolutionise the industries of tomorrow.

If you’re a teacher, make sure you register on our website now for free access to complete teaching materials, lesson plans and more. Also follow us on Twitter (@CodeForLifeUK) and like us on Facebook (Code for Life) for the latest news and announcements from the Code for Life team!

If you’re developer looking to contribute, check out our Code for Life GitHub portal and Rapid Router GitHub page where you can find more resources and the full source code for Rapid Router, respectively.

Celine Boudier, Code For Life Team Leader

December 14th, 2016

Posted In: Blog

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Dee the robot character

In the spirit of collaboration, we’ve open-sourced the game and portal of our free Code for Life education initiative.

To give you a bit of background, Code for Life consists of free teaching resources, including lesson plans, videos, and the Rapid Router game.

To play, pupils use basic programming principles to guide a van to its destination, learning as they go.

To begin with they use Blockly, a visual programming language similar to Scratch. The routes and concepts get harder as pupils progress through each level. Later on, the game introduces Python.

Code for Life currently has 36,300 users around the world.

And now we’re hoping that people will be able to develop their skills further by contributing to Code for Life itself.

You can play with game-running JavaScript, Python/Django, animation using SGV and Raphael, and a lot more. We’d like input from all sorts of backgrounds, whether you’re: a programmer looking for a creative outlet; a teacher hoping to shape the resources; a polyglot who’d like to help with translation; or even a pupil putting your skills to the test.

To contribute, head over to GitHub, check out the issue tracker, and get started. There you can suggest new features or assign yourself an issue to develop (you’ll find more info about how to do this on GitHub).

You never know, if your code is impressive enough, you may even land an interview…

Have fun

October 27th, 2015

Posted In: Blog

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Scroll Up