10 Replies Latest reply on 12-Oct-2017 9:46 PM by kmaggirias

    Part One -- Discussion #2

    teachontario.team

      How can coding help launch 21st Century competencies in our schools? If you are not familiar with Ontario's 21st Century Competencies Foundation Document for Discussion, click here. Also watch the Ted Talk on what adults can learn from kids (in the right panel).

        • Re: Part One -- Discussion #2
          aking

          Great video, kmaggirias  What is our legacy?  Right now I worry that I'm leaving behind a bunch of skills that students won't really rely on!  In their 2011 book Literacy is not Enough Crockett, Jukes and Churches say:

          “we need to shift our instructional approach to a 21st-century learning environment that will provide our students with the most in-demand skills: those that can’t be easily outsourced, automated or turned into software

          This is the imperative that motivates me to consider that, as scary as coding can be, that I need to get a handle on this.  I believe that if I can model the resilience to try something scary to my students, that they'll develop this resilience too and I'm counting on it, for they control my future.

           

            • Re: Part One -- Discussion #2
              kmaggirias

              Hi Alanna,

               

              I agree with your comment about demonstrating resilience and supporting students for the future. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck shares her research and recommendations about how we can support student learning.

               

              Showing our vulnerability and our willingness to learn, helps develop a relationship with our students and supports the learning environment. Thinking about your reference to the comment about the in-demand skills, would you consider coding as a fourth Literacy? 

               

              Kelly

                • Re: Part One -- Discussion #2
                  aking

                  I'm not sure what the first 3 literacies are!  I think understanding your computer on a fundamental way has to be respected as part of the new continuum of learning....which would include literacy and numeracy.  Being able to move from one platform or device to another is definitely part of the new #transliteracy.  Can we agree on transliteracy?  I think it's a more accurate idea than either literacy or numeracy for representing how coding has to become part of each person's lexicon.

              • Re: Part One -- Discussion #2
                christygarrity

                How can coding help launch 21st Century competencies in our schools?

                For me it is always a struggle. School communities can be very resistant to change.  In the eighties and nineties there seemed to be an excitement to try new ways of teaching/learning and this was encouraged. I think that we were supporting the 21st competencies way back then. We had leadership, perseverance, collaboration and teamwork. There were daily opportunities for problem solving and project based learning. The subjects were more integrated and there were more opportunities to build relationships with students and educators. Colleagues learned from each other and there was this sense of community.

                But there was this slow shift that happened and we moved toward this “cookie cutter” approach to teaching. There was the rise of the “consumable book” for every subject, with the fill in the blank, only 1 right answer. Maybe this had to do with the movement from ways of learning to ways of assessment, formal assessment, provincial assessments and school to school, Board to Board and Province to Province and beyond. I think this movement from process driven to product driven, ruined school. For me, it sucked the life and love out of teaching. This teach and test format is easier and I think because of that, educators have become complacent and lazy. I have been fighting against this for a very long time but it is like slowly being sucked into this vortex. It can be lonely. I also believe that this is why there is such a disconnect from the important critical thinking skills we now need in the 21 Century to discover, create and use new knowledge. With the ongoing advances in technology, there is this renewed acceptance in creating change. The internet has provided opportunities to connect with other like-minded educators to build learning communities and renew our commitment to a growth mindset so that our students will have opportunities to learn from and contribute to the learning of others.

                For me, our new Kindergarten inquiry based learning program was just what I needed to finally honor how children learn best. After several years learning alongside my K friends, I have been gently nudged out of my comfort zone and this has lead me to exploring coding. If I am going to truly provide the best possible learning opportunities for my students, then I need to put on my life long learner hat and acquire some level of understanding of coding so that I can include these learning opportunities in my classroom. From the Ted Talk video, I was reminded that we need to “create opportunities for children to grow up and blow us away.” I think by providing opportunities to explore coding will prepare children for the jobs of the future. I have been inspired by other educators who lead the way and quietly stalk them from a distance. At this time, there is no one doing this in my school, so I am coming out from the shadows and accepting this challenge.

                  • Re: Part One -- Discussion #2
                    mattlet2002

                    The comment about school communities is absolutely true.  There could be any number of reasons, from our own school experiences to the lack of coding knowledge that we need in our professional lives.  There are some teachers who consider learning to type to be the most important reason for using computers in schools.

                      • Re: Part One -- Discussion #2
                        kmaggirias

                        Hi Christy & Matt,

                         

                        I share your frustration with seeing technology only as a means of typing assignments. Technology is a tool that can be exciting and intimidating for educators. I find that when working with educators in school, you only need one teacher to start learning and collaborating with you. If one teacher can see the importance and significance of the impact that coding can have with students, then they will gain more confidence and try to continue the learning and sharing. Then that teacher will spread the word and you will see that more and more teachers will reach out to you. If teachers are not ready to jump on board, I find that students can be our best advocates! They will start asking teachers to share in the learning and your students, become leaders.

                         

                        Kelly

                        • Re: Part One -- Discussion #2
                          aking

                          Yikes.  And yet, I know first hand that change takes time.  I ripped out my library's computer labs about 4 years ago and turned the 45 desktops into 150 Chromebooks.  It shifted behaviour in a big big way.  Cloud computing has also fundamentally changed how we teach at our school.  I'm hoping to convince people that coding is part of this development continuum in our integration of technology.

                      • Re: Part One -- Discussion #2
                        mattlet2002

                        I actually was discussing 21st century competencies with my principal last week.  He saw a display of these competencies and wonder why they still seem so new when we are almost 20 years into the century.  He likes prefers global competencies.  Coding addresses these competencies because it gives students freedom to add creativity and innovation.  The lack of computers in some schools also encourage collaborative work by sharing computers.  Students also learn the importance of selecting partners.  The trial and error necessity of coding encourages critical thinking.  Finally, it is a different form of communication from the traditional paper and pencil tasks.  I think back to all the activities I had the students do over the years and wonder how I can change some of these each year to introduce a coding element to them.