A virtual programming club is born at the Montreal CSS

Following the success of the Code MTL training program, three ICT pedagogical advisers from the CSS de Montréal are creating a virtual programming club, whose activities will begin in winter 2022. They present the project in this article.

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

Thanks to the Code MTL training program, more than 3,000 students at the Center de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM) have learned to code. Despite the upheavals caused by the pandemic, activities have never ceased. Pleasantly surprised by the success obtained during the animation of the virtual workshops, Mario Renauld, Mariane Ducharme and Guillaume Bilodeau are now creating the Code MTL Programming Club, whose activities will begin in winter 2022.

Initially, Code MTL was a project made possible thanks to the collaboration between the pedagogical and information technology departments of the CSSDM, with the Foundation for Students of Montreal. This financially supports the program. The CSSDM's ICT pedagogical advisers provide training for all teachers participating in the project. They are encouraged to develop their technological skills while discovering the educational potential of the Scratch and Scratch Jr.

Once teachers have been introduced to programming, Edugo Pro facilitators begin to provide support in the classes for 8 consecutive weeks. Each workshop brings the students and their teacher to develop and mobilize their technological skills through programming activities. Although the pandemic has changed our lives, Code MTL has never ceased its activities. 

Large virtual programming gathering

Not having previously considered that the animation of virtual workshops could be so successful, the pedagogical advisers had the idea of setting up a large virtual programming gathering.

Thus, in order to reach the teachers who have participated in the Code MTL project over the past five years, they will launch a new Programming Club in winter 2022. Participants will have the opportunity to meet virtually with their students to code. They will be able to take on challenges on different programming platforms such as Scratch Jr, Scratch, Minecraft Education and Tinkercad. They were chosen for their safe access and their educational value for users in schools.

Two Friday afternoons a month, they will be invited to connect to the Numérithèque, a communication space on Microsoft Teams to support the development of digital skills. This is where the Club meetings will take place. 

In addition to joining the former participants of the Code MTL project, the organizers hope to welcome a new audience, always with the aim of developing the digital skills of as many people as possible.

All CSSDM classes will be able to participate in the Programming Club. However, a mastery of the basic principles of block programming is desired.

Watch the Club trailer.

Interested in setting up such a project within your CSS? The CSSDM team will be pleased to meet you!

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