• Fair Chance Learning

Students and Educators Learn Coding Side by Side at Superior-Greenstone District School Board

On May 2 and 3, students and Technology Champions from Geraldton Composite High School, Beardmore Public School, Schreiber Public School,Marathon High School, Nipigon-Red Rock District High School, Manitouwadge High School, Manitouwadge Public School, Terrace Bay Public School, and Lake Superior High School had the opportunity to come together to learn more about computational thinking at Lake Superior High School in Terrace Bay.

Students and Technology Champions from all across Superior-Greenstone District School Board have been learning together with Derek Tangredi from Fair Chance Learning for the entire 2017-2018 school year and have had so much fun co-learning coding and computational thinking as a team.

The two days of learning were the culmination of a year’s worth of face to face and virtual learning opportunities that have given the students the chance to meet other students and educators who are passionate about learning to create and be critical thinkers with code.

The learning was made possible with a multi-year partnership with Fair Chance Learning and funded by Innovation Learning Funds from the Ministry of Education. The goals of the partnership were to provide new learning opportunities for all our learners and to empower our students as lead learners in each of our schools. We want to provide our students with the skills to be adept life-long learners that can meet the challenges that the new workforce is going to require. By learning to code our learners are coding to learn and we are so excited to see what they create and accomplish with their coding abilities. Derek Tangredi, Director of Integrated STEAM Education from Fair Chance Learning, and our learning partner this year, said

"What I loved most about our Superior-Greenstone District School Board coding journey is how the experience made the students feel. I've witnessed tremendous growth in terms of their skill level but perhaps more importantly their level of self efficacy. Many people believe coding is only about sitting behind a computer but it's far greater. It teaches you how to think, problem solve, make iterations/changes to problems to carry out the most efficient solution. I was so inspired by this group because they're starting to code with purpose. This experience has gone far beyond my expectations and I hope this new confidence resonates into all they do in that although something may seem difficult at first, you can persevere and achieve something great.”

Stacey Wallwin, Superior-Greenstone District School Board’s Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact, was responsible for organizing the event and believes that “the most powerful moments over the two day events, were not in learning to code, but in seeing the students persevere with their new learning and share, support and celebrate each other’s new learning.”

The students had a great time not only learning new coding skills, but in meeting and connecting with other students who are curious and interested in learning to code as well. Patrick McCarthy from Terrace Bay Public School stated that the learning days let him find out that he “was better at coding than he thought he was and he learned some cool things with Makey Makey and the Microbits”. Seth Peath, also from Terrace Bay Public School summed up the powerful learning for us all by stating that “learning to code is important because it brings out the best in everyone;including the teachers!”

The unique opportunity to bring our students and our teachers together to co-learn coding was exciting and fun and several students have already lead the learning back at their home schools with the new skills acquired at the event. Student empowered learning is the best type of learning and we cannot wait to see how all these student leaders impact their home schools!

About the Author:

Stacey Wallwin is employed with Superior-Greenstone District School Board which is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior. In her current role as the Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact (TELTc)/ DeLC, she is tasked with supporting ALL learners within Superior-Greenstone in learning and using technology to support curiosity, curriculum and 21st century learning skills. She is passionate about providing equitable, 21st century learning opportunities for all students in her remote, Northwestern Ontario school board. Time spent connecting and learning with staff and students is the best part of her job and inspires her to keep learning!

In her free time, Stacey likes to get outside, read, bake and Netflix! Stacey is also huge boatnerd and enjoys ship watching during her summer months. Connect with Stacey on Twitter: @WallwinS or Instagram: swallwin

Fair Chance Learning offers customized coding events and workshops to suit the goals of your board, the needs of your educators and the futures of your students. To learn more, email us at info@fairchancelearning.com.

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