L'École branchée, un organisme à but non lucratif

A whole issue about coding and robotics

(V1-3) Computer Programming: How to Develop this Skill at School

Volume 1, issue 3 - Spring 2022

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From the Editor's Desk

Speaking the language of digital technologies...

Robot bees on the ground, programming competitions to solve problems, algorithm debates, class-scale simulation of Perseverance on Mars, designing a solar lamp... More and more schools are integrating computer programming into their learning activities.

This is not so surprising, because in today's ultra-connected world, learning the basics of computer programming is becoming increasingly necessary. Understanding how machines work to better understand the world is a new competency. Introduced in many countries, programming allows students to develop their digital skills, particularly in terms of computational thinking. Furthermore, it contributes to the development of many other human skills like problem solving, collaboration, content production, innovation, and creativity.

Beyond the novelty and the source of motivation that computer programming offers to students, how do you successfully introduce it to them? As a teacher, how do you confidently embrace this new world? A research project conducted by the Centre de recherche et d'intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES) in 2019 identified ways to better support teachers. Among them, being coached by experts during an initial programming activity with students was identified as a key element. The good news is that there are several initiatives of this kind, either directly in the school network or via organizations working in the field (such as École branchée!).

In this issue dedicated to the subject, our team offers you a wealth of practical information, resources, and inspiring ideas for getting started or going further. We offer it to you as a support tool. How far will you go?

"Just as you don't necessarily learn to write to become a writer, you don't learn to code to become a developer!"

Happy reading!

Audrey Miller, Editor-in-Chief

Martine Rioux, Managing Editor

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April 2022 – Volume 1, issue 3

Myra Auvergnat-Ringuette, Nadia Barrafato, Jason Belzile, Guillaume Bilodeau, Carolyn Buteau, Laurie Couture, Ann-Louise Davidson, Mariane Ducharme, Simon Duguay, Nathalie Duponsel, Sonya Fiset, Ian Fogarty, Pierre Lachance, François Lake-Héon, Marc-André Mercier, Mathieu Mercier, Mario Renauld, Martine Rioux

Audrey Miller

Managing Editor
Martine Rioux

Editorial Assistant
Karla Mora

Development Director
Stéphanie Dionne

Linguistic Revision
Karine Turcotte, Jody Meacher

Tracey-Lee Batsford

Additional Proofreading
Jason Belzile, Laurie Couture, Karla Mora

Graphic Design
Marie-Michèle Bouchard-Roussin
Kate-Lyn Lapointe (EMBLÈME Communication)

Solisco Numerix


Legal Deposit 2nd trimester 2022
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
Library and Archives Canada
ISSN 2564-2510 (Print)
ISSN 2564-2529 (Online)

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In this issue - Spring 2022

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SCOOP! / by L'École branchée

EngagED Learning Magazine

  Computer Programming: A Skill to Develop

Although computer programming is being increasingly taught, there is no consensus on the best way to teach computer programming to students. One thing is certain: it represents a way to develop many dimensions of digital competency, such as content production, problem-solving, communication, creativity, and innovation.

  In the World of Robots

When it comes to computer programming, robotics is never far away. In fact, since programming can seem abstract when it is presented only on a screen, robotics brings the learning achieved in programming to life. Here are some suggestions on how to integrate robotics into the classroom.

Pointe-à-Callière Museum


  Why Learn to Program?

Since programming is now present in practically all human activities, it is safe to say that it is both a learning subject and a learning tool. Moreover, if we take a look at the various frameworks for digital competency published in school systems around the world in recent years, we quickly notice that programming is part of most, if not all of them.

  Creative Solutions for the 4th Industrial Revolution(or We Want to Matter Now)

The Current Generation Project uses light poverty to teach curriculum from many disciplines beyond STEAM with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to inspire and empower students as young as Grade 5 to university. Here is why, and how.

  Girls Who Code to Improve Society

The statistics speak for themselves: still very few girls are heading into careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In order to reverse the trend, it would be necessary to focus on these challenges to promote better representation of women, and even greater cultural diversity.

  How to Bring Your Class into a Makerspace and Make the Best of it

Makerspaces are exciting because they engage people in experiential learning and hands-on projects. They offer many opportunities to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration skills. Here are some suggestions on how to bring your class into a makerspace and make the best of it.

  Integrating a Serious Game in the Classroom!

The use of serious games in the classroom, particularly Minecraft Education, enabled me to achieve this. In fact, using this game for educational purposes has helped students learn while being completely invested in discovering and experimenting in this environment.

  Switching from Block to Textual Programming

Although a growing number of schools are offering programming to students, most of the applications being used teach block programming. This approach helps students understand the logic behind programming and prevents certain challenges related to learning the programming language itself. Once the students have mastered the fundamentals, they can move forward and integrate textual programming. For this purpose, Swift Playgrounds can be used from grade 4 on.

  Coding with Scratch: From A Business Plan to Arcade!

Creating a Fun and Educational Video Game with Scratch encourages students to use creativity, to collaborate on projects, to develop technological skills, as well as to analyse and use critical judgement. They increase their digital literacy skills by interacting with various forms of media, software and technology.

  Behind Every Programmer Lies a Debugger

Hands are popping up in the classroom. Some students are discouraged, others feel frustrated or incompetent. Debugging can be challenging both for students and for teachers.

  Teacher Support: A Determining Factor

Projects that integrate computer programming and robotics are undeniably perceived as levers to help students acquire multiple skills. They become useful tools for teachers’ professional development. But, like their students, they also require resources in order to fully engage in their learning.

  Let’s Think About It

Bursts of laughter. This is what first made me look up from the mountain of objects and papers piled up on my desk. Then, instead of doing my little cleaning routine while my students were having fun, I continued to watch them.

  Learn to Code? There’s No Need for a Screen!

Many experts from the world of education have demonstrated through research that learning how to code is not just about using technology. Indeed, before turning on the computer, it might be a good idea to get out a sheet of paper and a pencil to get the students started.

  Our Favourites

Discover or re-discover various apps and sites ideas!

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