February 4, 2019

Staff share coding passion with modern learners for Hour of Code

​When schools from across the Peel District School Board decided to participate in the Hour of Code event, they knew they had to enlist the help from expert 21st century educators and coders, also known as staff members from Curriculum and Instruction, Help Desk, Learning Technology Support Services (LTSS), Library Support and Student Information System (SIS) teams.

The Hour of Code is a global movement that promotes coding to students in over 180 countries.

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"It's great to see the support from so many departments. It's a great opportunity for staff who do all this work but never really get a hands-on idea of what the end result is for these items being asked of them by curriculum," says Samantha Brace, instructional coordinator for modern learning, instructional technology, business and computer studies.

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Although these staff members aren't in schools every day, they work diligently behind-the-scenes to ensure schools have the support necessary to achieve student success. Whether it's providing resources to staff and students, offering support with technical support or in this case, teaching – schools know they can rely on them for their expert guidance. 

"There's lots of different elements in coding that students can benefit from and we thought that it'd really cool to go back into the classroom to show students how to code, and watch their interests peak as it did for us," says Greg Yantz, team leader for applications and business intelligence.

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Staff went into schools to teach students from as young as grade 1 to grade 10. They taught students everything from JavaScript, to Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), to object-oriented programming through games, including Hangman, drum sound simulator, and more. During the lessons, they went through the logic of building a game, added features, went through demos and even had students code along with them.

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The Hour of Code event is part of the Peel board's vision for 21st century teaching and learning – to Empower Modern Learners to have student's learning experiences reflect the technology they use in their every day lives.

"In addition to our incredible staff, we also have to thank our corporate partners. As our vision for EML continues to evolve, they've been instrumental when it comes to supporting our classrooms for the Hour of Code event with free resources, training and more," says Brace. "Whenever we hold EML workshops for educators, I would always ask how many of them have hosted the Hour of Code before and there would be many arms raised."

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