Coding is a Key Digital Literacy Skill

Posted On Tuesday January 21, 2020

District technology coordinator Elizabeth De Vries says a successful webinar series at Dallas Elementary school this month will benefit students and teachers across the district. 

“I was curious to see if this webinar format would be a good fit for our students and teachers,” she said. “The federal government wants all kids to learn to code, so they are providing resources through agencies like Kids Code Jeunesse. We wanted to know if this would be a good fit in recruiting help for our teachers, and teaching these skills to our students.

“After seeing these webinars, I will recommend this learning as a great opportunity for teachers to bring new learning into their classrooms and have their students connect with new experts and develop their skills.  It's also awesome for teachers to have some professional development in their own classroom setting!”
In the Kids Code Jeunesse webinars, the grade 6 and 7 class spent a morning learning about artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the grade 4 and 5 class spent an afternoon learning about electronics, algorithms, and programming electronics with a Micro:bit.
As part of their session on artificial intelligence, the grade 6 and 7 students learned how to teach a computer sign language, and then have it recognize their movements in order to respond with sound and image.
“They are learning a lot about critical thinking and how you can use technology to solve problems,” said Andrea Mangell, Grade 6 and 7 teacher at Dallas Elementary. “They are also learning creative thinking and using technology as a form of communication.”

Teachers across the district are pursuing opportunities like this for students to understand machine learning, and to develop their own digital skills like coding. There are a number of agencies across Canada currently developing coding and computer science workshops for classrooms. 

Coding can be described as the process of planning and creating a set of instructions (an algorithm) in order to tell a computer, app, robot or device what you want it to do. Learning to code develops problem solving and thinking skills as well as familiarity with digital tools that can support students in other work with technology. 

Kids Code Jeunesse is spearheading an initiative it calls #2030, to teach artificial intelligence, ethics and global issues to children across Canada.
Anyone with questions about booking this learning for their classroom or interested in other opportunities to have their students build digital skills is encouraged to email Elizabeth,


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