Canada Learning Code, a non-profit organization that promotes digital literacy education, has unveiled a new national computer science education framework designed to serve students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
The organization’s ‘K-12 Computer Science Education Framework’ aims to guide Canadian educators on what students need to know to correct what it calls “inaccessible” and “inconsistent” computer science education across Canada.
“We knew definitive action was needed to make a positive change in the way computer science is taught.”
The non-profit hopes its new framework informs computer science education across the country.
“After consulting with experts and thought leaders across the industry on the subject of computer science education, it was clear that its delivery throughout the country was not only inconsistent, but there were significant barriers around accessibility,” said Melissa Sariffodeen, co-founder and CEO of Canada Learning Code, which originally launched in 2016 through Ladies Learning Code.
“As an organization dedicated to empowering youth with the digital skills needed to thrive both currently and in the future, we knew definitive action was needed to make a positive change in the way computer science is taught today,” the CEO added.
The new framework addresses what the organization considers five “fundamental learning outcomes,” including coding and programming, computer and networks, data, technology, and society and design. Canada Learning Code said the framework allows students to enter at various stages of learning, regardless of age or grade level.
The launch of the framework, which can be applied remotely, comes amid the rise of remote learning, homeschooling, and safety fears regarding a potential return to in-person schooling this fall due to COVID-19.
According to Canada Learning Code, less than half of Canada’s provinces and territories currently include computer science in their elementary or middle school curriculum.
“This pan-Canadian curricular effort will provide important guidance to Ministries of Education and school districts across our provinces and territories,” said Cathy Adams, professor and Vargo teaching chair at the University of Alberta. “The framework is not about raising a generation of coders, it is about ensuring that all Canadian children have the opportunity to learn the computational and digital literacies they need to be successful, well-informed and ethically responsive citizens in today’s 21st century.”
The framework was developed by Canada Learning Code in partnership with an advisory group that included representatives from Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, and in consultation with curriculum developers, educators, teacher unions, and classroom teachers, including Pinnguaq and Kids Code Jeunesse.
Back in 2018, Canada Learning Code received $525,000 from Amazon to help support the development of a K-12 computer science education framework.
Last July, Canada Learning Code received $9.4 million in funding through the Government of Canada’s CanCode program to offer coding and digital skills training to students across the country.
In August and September, the organization plans to host its third annual TeacherCon, a free virtual conference for educators in the Canadian school system, designed to encourage the use of computer science in the classroom.
Image source Ladies Learning Code