Many educators want to teach their students how to code, but can face the challenge of not being equipped with the knowledge and skills themselves. With the support of CIRA’s Community Investment Program (CIP), Ladies Learning Code (LLC) looked to address this challenge, and launched Teachers Learning Code workshops.
These one-day in-person workshops offer certifications for technical and non-technical educators who want to teach their communities − such as schools, community groups, and Girl Guide Troops − to code. The pilot sessions took place in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax from June to December, 2016 and trained 229 educators – with plans for continuing the sessions already in the works.
As part of the CIP project, Ladies Learning Code also created and launched an online community portal to allow educators to share curriculum they have used or developed virtually, troubleshoot, and get support from LLC’s team of experts and other instructors across the country.
The hands-on workshop series was designed to benefit teachers who may not have ever seen a line of code before, but know it’s critical for preparing the next generation for the changing workforce in the digital age.
"An important message was that we did not have to be experts in coding, but facilitators of learning [...]"
One teacher from British Columbia found the workshop gave them confidence to adjust to changes in the curriculum that incorporate digital skills. “With the introduction of a new curriculum to British Columbia, teachers were excited and overwhelmed with the requirement to teach basic coding skills - an area we have limited experience in,” the workshop participant said. “This workshop was what I needed. An important message was that we did not have to be experts in coding, but facilitators of learning who find ways to create questions and problem solving strategies in ourselves and our students that lead to critical thinking. I felt confident to apply what I learned.”
Each pilot session was fully registered with an extensive waitlist – a resounding success, with the impact reaching thousands of students across the country. Ladies Learning Code is looking at expanding the program to hold more workshops across Canada.
“This initiative is supporting our growing community needs by equipping non-technical educators who understand the importance of teaching digital skills with the tools to bring those skills into their classrooms,” reflected Melissa Sariffodeen, Ladies Learning Code’s CEO.
“More youth will now be exposed to computer science education and we are one step closer to supporting our goal to provide all Canadian youth an opportunity to build and not just consume technology through the traditional education system.”
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