Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai speaks to Ms. Booth’s grade 5 class at Surrey Centre Elementary. (Sam Anderson)

Thousands of B.C. students, teachers to receive coding classes, digital skill training

More than 130,000 B.C. students will receive access to programs, including Surrey Centre Elementary

Thousands of students and teachers in British Columbia will soon have access to training in coding and digital skills through a federally funded CanCode initiative.

Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag and Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai visited Surrey Centre Elementary in Cloverdale on Wednesday morning to announce that the federal government promises to invest $50 million over a two year period to support opportunities for students to develop coding and digital skills.

“Our children are growing up through a time of great change. Technology is disrupting all facets of our lives and has become a part of our everyday lives,” said Aldag. “Making sure our kids, our future leaders, have the digital skills they need to work with these technologies is critical to setting them up for success.”

The CanCode program aims to teach digital skills to more than one million students across the country. The funds are also meant to support initiatives that will provide around 63,000 teachers with resources and training they need in order to teach those digital skills.

In British Columbia, as many as 133,569 students and 9,685 teachers will be given access to training and programming that supports the development of coding and other digital skills for youth.

Rather than being awarded through school districts, the funding will be allocated to organizations such as Science World or the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), which will then provide programming to B.C. teachers and students.

“This type of program is going to help people like [ICTC] implement programs that teach teachers, so that they can teach [students] and the leaders of the future,” said Sarai.

“With our rapid growth, technological advancement and support for innovation projects in Surrey, the need for homegrown talent is more vital [than ever before],” he said.

Alexandra Cutean, Director of Policy and Research at ICTC, addressed the students, stating that digital skills are now needed in a wide array of industries.

“Digital is not confined to the tech sector anymore. It’s everywhere. It’s in the food we eat, it’s in the cars we drive … and it’s even in the clothes and shoes we wear. Simply put, it’s everywhere,” she said.

The CanCode initiative will help fund ICTC’s Digital Development and Acceleration of Skills Hub, which will provide training to teachers across the country.

At Surrey Centre Elementary school, students begin to learn how to code in kindergarten.

As demonstrated by Ms. Booth’s class on Wednesday morning, by the time students are in grade 5, they have a significant knowledge of coding and robotics.

Students primarily use block-structured programming to drag and drop sections of pre-made code into unique sequences. For instance, a student might drop a command to “go forward” and follow it with a command to “accelerate.” In that way, they learn how to build code line by line and they also get to topple a series of dominoes with their Sphero bot.

Or, in the case of Ozobot robots, students will colour lines of code onto a sheet of paper, which the small robot then reads and responds to as it runs over the lines.

Students can also use the “Bloxels” program to create video game platforms, before playing through them, and build their own robots.

Every program is virtually and physically interactive, and the students are given time every week during digital studies to experiment with new codes and new situations.

The $50 million in federal funding will allow students across the country to access similar interactive learning opportunities and build the same digital skills that the Surrey Centre Elementary students demonstrated on Wednesday morning.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Surrey Centre Elementary students explain how their Sphero robot works to Surrey School Board Chairperson Laurie Larsen and Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag. (Sam Anderson)

Jasmine, Ava, Joline and Jaya were working with Ozobots when the Cloverdale Reporter visited on Wednesday morning. Ozobots respond to code sequences that students make with coloured markers on paper. (Sam Anderson)

Just Posted

Around the BCHL: Youth trumps experience for Chilliwack and Salmon Arm

Around the BCHL is a look at goings-on in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Retirement of Chuck Stam brought out kind words and fond goodbyes

Tuesday was the last council meeting for a councillor who has served Chilliwack for almost 20 years

Chilliwack City Watch member helps RCMP catch drunk driver

Volunteer flagged down officer after watching vehicle driving erratically on Yale Road

Indigenous Bloom the only dispensary operating in Chilliwack with the dawn of legalization

Ashwell Drive storefront is on Kwaw-Kwaw-A-Pilt First Nation land operating under a new ‘cannabis law’

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Money Monitor: Should you switch to a fixed-rate mortgage?

BMO’s Omar Abouzaher outlines the pros and cons of both types of mortgages

Earth still moving in Old Fort, B.C., but not above homes: geologists

Transportation Ministry crews are ready to start work on the Old Fort road

Pedestrian hit and killed in Vancouver

Police said in a statement that the man was crossing mid-block near Ross Street on SE Marine Drive just after 6 a.m

Around the BCHL: Youth trumps experience for Chilliwack and Salmon Arm

Around the BCHL is a look at goings-on in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Support high for Metro Vancouver SkyTrain, light rail projects: poll

Nearly 90 per cent were in favour of a UBC SkyTrain extension

Proportional representation grows government, B.C. study finds

Spending, deficits higher in countries where voting system used

Black market will thrive until small pot growers and sellers included: advocates

Advocates say the black market will continue to thrive until small retail shops and craft growers are included in the regime.

Goodbye cable, hello Netflix: 1/3 of Canadians cut the cord

Just under half of households no longer have a landline phone

Most Read