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

Thieves keep Oceanside RCMP busy

Thefts from vehicles, businesses, mailboxes revealed in latest crime report

Parksville Qualicum Beach students the catalyst for #TrustYourself campaign

Social media initiative urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

One new face on Qualicum school board

Laura Godfrey brings experience as Sea to Sky trustee, interest in Indigenous learning

$75K deal for advertising at Oceanside Place

RDN set to directly award contract to ad firm

ORCA continues push for track upgrade at Ballenas

Running association official plans to meet with MLA on Thursday

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

‘This is gangster,’ bait car thief declares on video

Footage from Abbotsford gains attention on social media

B.C. to fund gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people

Roughly 100 people in B.C. travel each year out of province for lower surgeries

U.S. mayor and dying dog’s roadtrip to B.C. goes viral

First vacation in three years came a month after blood cancer diagnosis

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows

British Prime Minister Theresa May answered questions from callers on a radio phone-in, the day after she vowed to stay in office

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

UPDATED: $136M in transit funding coming to B.C.

The announcement was made at the BC Transit yard in Langford on Friday morning

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Most Read