Starting next month, B.C. teachers will be getting a crash course in coding basics via two day workshops around the province.
Each school district will send a pair of teachers to Vancouver’s Lighthouse Labs, whose staff will then teach the skills to their colleagues.
Lighthouse Labs co-founder Jeremy Shaki says the focus will be on computational thinking.
“Well, what language are you going to teach, or how are you going to approach mobile… those aren’t really questions for what we’re doing. We’re just teaching ways for students to understand how computers accept information, and how they can approach learning how to code.”
Under B.C.’s new curriculum all students are to complete one coding module by the end of grade nine.
“It’s about skills not which are relevant for one language or another, but actually being able to pick up multiple languages, and actually being able to go and explore coding further on their own.”
Lighthouse will back the training with teacher support in the months after the course.
The province put up $6 million for the change back in June, $2 million of which is allocated for teacher training.
At the time of the announcement, Education Minister Mike Bernier said coding classes for both teachers and students will better prep them for the future.
“The world is changing and we need to move forward so students have the skills they need to succeed in that changing world.”
While teaching children coding is part of new curriculum for students, it’s also part of the #BCTECH Strategy which the B.C. government has outlined as a key component of its Jobs Plan to support the growth of the province’s technology sector.