B.C. continues to revamp curriculum to include coding classes

Monday January 09, 2017
Written by MA Staff
Jan. 9, 2017 - The British Columbia government is working toward having all students take a basic coding class starting in the 2018-19 school year.

“Coding teaches students how to analyze a problem, determine the steps to fix that problem and then create directions so a machine can carry out those steps. Whether or not students pursue careers in the technology sector, these critical thinking skills are vital for future success,” said the government in a press release.

“B.C. students are doing amazing things with coding throughout the province — and we’re going to make sure it’s something every student experiences by the end of Grade 9,” said Mike Bernier, minister of education. “We have revamped our curriculum top to bottom and added coding to it — so students will have the skills they need to fill upcoming jobs in demand and succeed in our changing world.”

The first step, said the government, in helping teachers get ready to teach coding in classrooms kicked off this past fall and is continuing in the coming months. Teachers from various school districts are attending regional-training sessions on coding, hosted by experts from Lighthouse Labs, who will then help train their colleagues on how to explore coding with kids.

According to the government, many students are already gaining hands-on experience through different coding opportunities in the classroom, such as robot and drone building, website creation and app development. For example, continued the press release, West Vancouver Secondary school students enrolled in the Mechatronics Academy are participating in robotic challenges around North America. As well, students at an Aboriginal Choice school in Prince George recently used coding to represent their names and created traditional bead necklaces that featured their coded names.

Meanwhile, teachers and students in Trail visit Midas Lab, a local research and digital fabrication training facility, to learn about coding. At the lab, students can use digital 3-D printers, laser cutters and other state-of-the art digital tools. Teachers regularly visit the facility and meet with instructors to find exciting ways to teach the new curriculum.

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