A new school year is upon us and we’re excited to continue to share some of the great things going on in the province surrounding coding and computational thinking (CT).
More and more attention is being given to coding and CT, both in Canada and the world. Our goal is to support educators as they change their practice to allow students the opportunity to learn and thrive in this exciting and important area.
We welcome Ontario Educators to share their coding and CT research and experiences. Please get in touch with us if you would like to contribute or share an idea.
While much of this work seems innovative and cutting edge, we’d like to take the time to remind everyone that research projects and educational programs surrounding computer programming have been around for decades.
We would be remiss if we did not suggest that, while you read the new and innovative work being done by Educators across Ontario, you also seek out the work of Seymour Papert. The “projects and ideas that he developed, starting in the 1960s, laid the intellectual foundation for today’s maker movement and Learn to Code movement.” (Resnick, 2017a, p.1)
While innovative hardware and software captures our eyes and are of initial interest to students, we believe that the development of complex thought processes and competencies merits coding and CT a place in our classrooms.
“Many of Seymour’s seeds are bearing fruit. Today, more children in more places have more opportunities for exploring, experimenting, and expressing themselves with new technologies then ever before” (Resnick, 2017b, p. 3).
We would like to encourage educators to explore coding and computational thinking further, while continuing to view them as valuable tools that allow our students to explore, experiment and express themselves!
Resnick, M. (2017a). The Patron Saint of Making and Coding. Hello World, issue 1, Spring 2017.
Resnick, M. (2017b). The Seeds That Seymour Sowed. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction.
Steve Floyd has over 15 years of experience teaching computer science and computer engineering in Ontario. He was the recipient of the 2017 CSTA Award for Teaching Excellence in Computer Science and has worked on a number of coding and computational thinking projects with elementary and high school teachers across Ontario. Steve is currently pursuing his PhD at Western University where he is investigating Computer Science and Computational Thinking in K-12 education. Steve is also an elearning course writer and developer and has worked closely with both the Ministry of Education and private companies to help develop digital citizenship and financial literacy apps for students.
Lisa Floyd is passionate about introducing students and teachers to the world of coding. She recently completed her Masters in Mathematics Education. She is a Computational Thinking in Math and Science Education instructor at Western University’s Faculty of Education, for which she has received an award for excellence in teaching in the undergraduate program. Lisa is on a leave of absence from the Thames Valley District School Board, where she has many years experience teaching secondary Computer Science, Math and Science. As a thought-leader on STEM education, and Director of Research and Inquiry at Fair Chance Learning, Lisa is currently working with ministries and school districts sharing her passion for creative coding and digital making tools with students and teachers across Canada.