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

Columbia Basin Trust funds $1 million in environment grants

Reptiles, grizzlies and more to benefit from the projects

Revelstoke Community Choir presents Candy Canes & Carols

The Revelstoke Community Choir presented their annual Christmas performance on Sunday and… Continue reading

Funding available for caribou habitat restoration

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is now accepting grant applications

UPDATE: Sagmoen to stand trial

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

Crash temporarily closes Trans Canada Highway near Sicmaous

DriveBC reported the accident at 3 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read