Minister Announces Coding as a Priority During Education Day

Education and Early Childhood Development

October 21, 2015 10:48 AM

More than 600 Nova Scotia students attending Education Day at the Big Data for Productivity Congress in Halifax have been told coding is a priority for the province and is being brought to the classroom earlier than planned.

An Education Action Plan commitment to introduce all children to coding kicked off this year in grades Primary to 3 as part of the revised P-3 curriculum, where students are being introduced to the basics of using a computer safely and problem solving.

"Coding builds on the basic skills in the math curriculum and we will work closely with our teachers as coding is phased in over the next few years in classrooms," said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey.

"Taking the steps to modernize the education system is a key component of the Action Plan and is critical to student success," said Minister Casey. "Participating in Education Day is an excellent opportunity to highlight the steps we're taking to introduce students to the basics of coding, technology and design."

Coding, an initiative in Nova Scotia's Action Plan for Education, is an essential skill which promotes problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking, and innovation. These skills are important for students to gain as they are directly linked to many of the growth industries in Nova Scotia, including computer programming, marine, manufacturing, communications and many others.

"Improving these learning skills will help to better prepare our students to lead successful lives and contribute to the prosperity of our province," said Ms. Casey.

Working with Brilliant Labs, Makerspaces are available for people to collaborate on coding and robotics, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. School boards have been invited to send teams to the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Olympics for students in grades 4 to 8.

Last year, more than 60,000 students took part in the worldwide event Hour of Code, which is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify coding by teaching students the basics.

"As educators, we must shift our ideas and practices to entice and engage students of today," said Andrea Fader, a teacher at Sir Charles Tupper School in Halifax.

"Teaching code in our classrooms is an important tool that allows students to build strengths in areas such as math skills, problem solving, and most importantly, the essential skills of 21st century learning."

Increasing math and literacy skills at all grades, including coding is part of government's action plan that focuses on fundamental changes to renew, refocus and rebuild the education system for the first time in a generation. The action plan can be found at http://www.ednet.ns.ca/ .

Education Day is a partnership between the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Nova Scotia Community College, Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Brilliant Labs, and the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     More than 600 Nova Scotia students attending Education

Day at the Big Data for Productivity Congress in Halifax have

been told coding is a priority for the province and is being

brought to the classroom earlier than planned.

     Coding, an initiative in Nova Scotia's Action Plan for

Education, is an essential skill which promotes problem solving,

teamwork, critical thinking, and innovation.

     Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen

Casey says coding builds on the basic skills in the math

curriculum and the department will work closely with our

teachers as coding is phased in over the next few years in

classrooms.

     An introduction to coding started this year in grades

Primary to 3 as part of the revised P-3 curriculum, where

students are learning the basics of using a computer safely and

will focus on problem solving.

     Coding is fundamental in our daily lives and is all around

us in our appliances, phones, vehicles and is critical to growth

industries.

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Media Contact: Michelle L. Lucas
              902-424-8307
              Cell: 902-222-1784
              Email: Michelle.L.Lucas@novascotia.ca