On Oct. 22, 200 teachers from across British Columbia and Ontario participated in Code Class, a one-day coding and computational thinking crash course.
The inaugural class was hosted by coding education experts Lighthouse Labs, which partnered with Kids Code Jeunesse, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering kids and teachers through code, and Computer Using Educators of British Columbia (CUEBC).
Code Class is a free, full-day workshop designed specifically for K-12 educators that aims to introduce educators to computational thinking and inspire them to bring code into the classroom. It supports teachers by removing barriers and fostering an understanding of computational thinking, technology and basic code.
Computational thinking is problem solving; it’s understanding larger structures with both human and technological systems. It could be as simple as following a recipe, or as advanced as coding a website. Computational thinking is to computers as astronomy is to telescopes; it’s about how people conceptualize information, and how they put those concepts into practise.
With the introduction of code into the new ADST (Applied Design, Skills and Technologies) curriculum across British Columbia, Code Class organizers believe that it is more important than ever to invest in teachers and to give them the tools and resources needed to bring code into the classroom.
“Lighthouse Labs is proud to support teachers across Canada,” said Jewish community member Jeremy Shaki, co-founder of Lighthouse Labs. “We believe that great education starts with great teachers and grows from there. The best solution for incorporating technology into the classroom is to provide teachers with the tools and resources they need to inspire their students.”
“By educating children with the tools needed to create and communicate within the 21st century, we are providing them with the skills needed to build their own future success,” said Kate Arthur, founder and co-director of Kids Code Jeunesse, which is based on the belief that coding is a basic literacy as important as reading, writing or math.
K-12 teachers of all subjects who attended the 2016 CUEBC conference could participate in the free-of-charge one-day workshop held at School District 43’s École Riverside Secondary School in Port Coquitlam. More than two dozen software developers from local technology companies mentored participants during the workshop, and no previous coding experience was required to attend.
Computational thinking already exists within some key aspects of teachers’ classrooms, said Jon Hamlin, president of CUEBC, an organization of volunteer teachers in the province dedicated to promoting the educational uses of technology in schools. “We hope to reframe their understanding of the subject, see how it connects in cross-curricular ways, and see computers and coding from a new perspective. Together with Lighthouse Labs, we aim to support all K-12 teachers in their adoption of the new ADST provincial curriculum.”
For more information about Lighthouse Labs, its approach to teaching web and mobile software development, and the courses it offers, visit lighthouselabs.ca.