Here we go again! - A message from the CEOs
Now that you're a little more settled in to school, we want to officially welcome you back to another year of learning.
September brings a new season and a new school year. We feel so fortunate to work in education. It means each September we get another fresh start. We shared our children’s sense of anticipation and recognized their anxieties. New teachers to meet and learning routines to establish. But, as our daughter Charlotte says, “I love getting organized for school!” At Fair Chance Learning (FCL), we do too. How have we organized for this new school year? By preparing a whole lot of new learning experiences.
This year we will continue to focus on the things that we are passionate about and know make a difference for the teachers, students and Canadian communities we serve. We continue to partner with Microsoft Education, as their Professional Learning Specialist for Canada, knowing first hand that they are focused and committed to creating education technology that empowers students and teachers to achieve more. Our hp education partnership also means that we can continue to focus on developing the competencies and skills that inspire instructional innovation and next-generation learning experiences through the cutting-edge technology of the hp learning studios.
FCL celebrates its seven-year anniversary in September. When we found out that the traditional seven-year anniversary gifts include copper and wool we immediately thought these materials belong in a makerspace... which brings us to our STEAM programming. The foundation of this program focuses on creating technology rich professional learning opportunities, as well as hands on coding and computational thinking experiences, while partnering with leading STEAM organizations in the latest equipment and research. Last school year, we established a partnership with code.org and The Micro:bit Foundation to equip 150 classes with over 1500 micro:bits and provided professional learning experiences for the educators through a partnered webinar here.
Lisa Anne Floyd joined our team in February of last year as the Director of Research and Inquiry. Although she is always pointing out that pedagogy comes before the tool, she believes that the micro:bit can not only act as a springboard to other devices, but also can make learning concepts involving coding, robotics and electronics an enjoyable experience for students and their teachers.
While at ISTE we announced that we are The Micro:Bit Foundation’s partner for Canada. (Read the announcement here).This partnership means that the Foundation will assist and support us as we bring micro:bit to Canadian educators and students to enable them to continue to learn the valuable digital skills of computer science, while integrating STEAM into all subject areas.
In an effort to get more students actively involved in coding activities we have launched The Canadian Wide Micro:bit Challenge. This is a passion project from our newsest team member and Director of Integrated STEAM Education, Derek Tangredi, who wanted to celebrate a culture of learning and share the amazing projects and success stories throughout Canada. Learn more about the project here.
To ensure we support educators in creating a culture of learning, Fair Chance Learning is championing Microsoft's STEAM professional learning programming. We are in the process of building out professional learning programs based on Microsoft technologies that is dedicated to coding, makerspaces and STEAM education. This learning pathway features courses on Minecraft: Education Edition, the micro:bit using Microsoft MakeCode, as well as coding and making in the classroom.
We are pumped that we are also the first and only official Makey Makey education training partner in Canada. We have developed and delivered the first Canadian Makey Makey certified course to over 300 educators Canada-wide.
We are thankful for the opportunity to work every day with our industry partners, our education partners and all of the wonderful teachers and students. We are passionate about our work, for as Satya Nadella says: “each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it's not just work, but something that will improve other people's lives.”
The FCL team is always on the move, working energetically to improve learning experiences for everyone. You can keep up with what we have on the horizon by visiting our events page here.
As we say here, we only have one speed…Go!
Martha and Dustin