Report on the first edition of the Programming Club at the Montreal School Service Centre

In 2021-2022, the CSSDM's Programming Club reached more than 50 classes, or more than 1,000 students from preschool to high school, who connected with facilitators and pedagogical advisors on Friday afternoons to learn to program. A look back at this first edition.

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By Mario Renauld, Guillaume Bilodeau and Mariane Ducharme, ICT pedagogical advisers of the CSSDM

In 2021-2022, the CSSDM's Programming Club reached more than 50 classes, or more than 1,000 students from preschool to high school, who connected with facilitators and pedagogical advisors on Friday afternoons to learn to program. A look back at this first edition.

Whether it's preschool students and 1er who have programmed monsters in the Scratch Jror the older ones who have created a harvesting robot in Scratch or those who have learned to make a frieze and a paving in TinkercadIt is fair to say that all participants in the Montreal School Service Centre (MSSC) Programming Club have taken their digital skills to the next level.

Code Mtl Programming Club

Go further and experience success

Some gifted students also joined the group to go a little further in their learning since it was not mandatory to participate with their class group. The pedagogical differentiation that programming offers is invaluable in this context. Classes from 3e cycle even participated in the Scratch Jr. Challenge meetings to support the learners of the 1er This has created a great spirit of collaboration, one of the Club's goals. 

Also, several teachers of AMPLI or special education classes testified to the successes their students had experienced. Here is one of them:

"My friends are in an AMPLI class and they have difficulty communicating orally and in writing. I thank you again for this great project. My students loved our Friday afternoons, especially since it allowed them to experience success! Scratch Jr blocks have no secrets for them anymore."

Collaboration with the Networked School

Due to the success experienced within the CSSDM, the team had the idea of proposing the Scratch challenge to the École en réseau. This allowed classes from all over Quebec to join in learning programming, in addition to offering CSSDM teachers a new opportunity to participate if they had not been able to do so before. Nearly thirty classes participated in the challenge. 

Establishing partnerships is one of the three recommendations made by researcher Sylvie Barma in her report on the Days of Reflection on the Pedagogical Use of Computer Programming. Another recommendation found in this report is to support the professional development of teachers so that they maintain an attitude of self-efficacy. This is exactly the intention of the Club in providing pedagogical support, which is a security for integrating digital technology into teaching.

Open to all

The team is already ready for the next school year. In fact, to experience the challenges of the Club in 2022-2023, it will no longer be necessary to have a programming background. All are welcome. 

Therefore, here is the activity programming of the Club in 2022-23. Among other things, a new project entitled Conquering the planet MA Moodle training course to introduce youth to block programming in Minecraft Education. Teachers who are not part of the CSSDM are encouraged to keep an eye out for the registration period for the 3 programming activities that will be presented with theNetworked school next year.

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