We are living in a world driven by technological advancement and more aspects of our lives and economy digitized. The separation between the Information Technology (IT) employee and non-IT employee will continue to be minimized and blurred as the division of duties erode. Technical knowhow and understanding will no longer be the sole domain of the IT industry or IT employees. Every field will hire employees with strong digital skills to fill most positions.
Part 1: The Why?
Part 2: The How?
If we examine global trends, it is clear that an increasing number of schools worldwide are integrating some form of computer programming into the curriculum. In this post we’re going to focus on why now is the time to include coding in all Ontario classes. In our next education post we will investigate how teachers can incorporate coding into classes, regardless of the subject! First, we must ask under the current provincial curriculum, is there a place for Ontario educators to incorporate programming?
As a parent, you probably feel partly if not completely responsible for your child’s growth and educational success. You are constantly being inundated with differing opinions, studies, articles and research on the best methods for ensuring a fruitful future for your child. In a world where there is just so much information, how are you to determine the best way to support your child’s growth?
Code is the language of the modern world. Whether it’s apps that bring emails to mobile devices or cars that estimate how many miles you can travel before running out of gas, coding is everywhere! Any smart device needs code instructions for it to operate and communicate with the outside world.
Q. When did you start with Hatch?
A: I started in grade 6.
Q: How long did you take courses?
A: For an entire school year. It's Hatch—it's fun.
Q: What was your best memory with a Hatch coach?
A: I was relatively new to coding—I was really stuck on what conditionals were. My teacher stayed after class to provide extra support—giving me reassurance that I could get anything solved and he was there to support.
Q: What was your favourite project you built with Hatch and why?
A: I have two. Torus: circles that go out and back in. And, Sunset Shadows: it looks really good. It is the best looking project in my humble opinion, and is very cool.
Q: What has Hatch offered in terms of options and choices for the future?
A: Before Hatch, I knew a little bit of Python, but after attending Hatch, I was very open and comfortable in learning other languages like Python, HTML, CSS.
Q: How did you get an internship at Hatch?
A: I contacted the founder of Hatch on LinkedIn. There happened to be an intern group starting soon—Peter said to show up at this time at this place and I was part of an intern group within 24 hours.
Q: What is it about Hatch's learning system that you think helps teach how to solve problems independently?
A: My favourite part, which helped me at the start, after classes, not only could I reach out to the teachers, but there is an explanation of the code for the base project but when you get to the challenges, you are on your own without any explanations. So you can get the support at the beginning, but when you want to push yourself, you can see what works and what doesn't work and figure it out yourself.
Q: What are you doing at Hatch in your internship?
Q: What do you think you have learned at Hatch about solving problems independently?
A: Learning Python on my own has taught me how to figure stuff out on my own. When you don't have people, how do you solve the problem—do you Google it—how do you research it?. You have to be smart with your time and time management. I have learned how to solve my coding problems through research even when there are no people there.
There is a common misconception that in order to be good at computer programming, an individual also needs to be good at math (meaning advanced math). That misconception has been hanging around now for decades. It's present in work and speeches dating back to at least the 1970s.
Pedagogical approaches matter a lot to the success of content delivery and content mastery. The idea of content mastery seems more and more antiquated as time goes by, human knowledge and experience grow, and computers become more powerful. Nonetheless, we should consider that content and content mastery still exist—even if they look different than they used to.
I believe that teachers want their students to be successful, and most define success as requiring a relatively high degree of independent mastery of skills, competencies, and knowledge. Wanting student success and knowing how to attain it, however, are two very different things. My mother, for instance, was educated in France and would not have agreed with my above assertion about teachers wanting student success. Her pedagogical experiences as a child in the French equivalent of our K-12 system, and later, as a student at the faculté de droit at l'université de Bordeaux and still yet later, at l'université de Montréal were based on nothing more sophisticated than the old fashioned idea of sink or swim. When, as a teenager, I floated the idea of attending a French university, she warned me that the approach to education was very different: that teachers did not spend very much (meaning, any) time on helping students learn. She explained that exams were designed to separate the wheat from the chaff: the vast majority of students were considered chaff, and a select group were considered wheat—the pedagogical approach (such as it was) reflected this belief. In many K-12 settings and universities this approach is still predominant.
This type of teaching cannot continue in an R&D world. The more industry relies on research and development, the more it needs greater numbers of well-educated university graduates: people who can communicate complex thoughts clearly, who can read for meaning, who question, analyze, and draw conclusions while situating them in appropriate socio-economic and historical contexts. Doing so avoids myopia, moving us closer toward excellence in problem-solving.