Transcript: Coding Kids | Nov 07, 2016

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her thirties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a black blazer over a black blouse, a silver necklace and a poppy brooch.

A caption on screen reads "Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine."
Then, it changes to "Coding kids."

Nam says SOME THINK THAT CODING -
THE LANGUAGE THAT MAKES COMPUTER
SOFTWARE WORK - IS THE LANGUAGE
OF THE FUTURE.
AND TO THAT END, BRITISH
COLUMBIA AND PARTS OF THE UNITED
KINGDOM HAVE ALREADY MADE IT
PART OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL
CURRICULUM.
JOINING US NOW TO EXPLORE
WHETHER ONTARIO SHOULD FOLLOW
THAT LEAD:
MELISSA SARIFFODEEN, CO-FOUNDER
AND CEO OF LADIES LEARNING CODE...

Melissa is in her mid-thirties, with straight chin-length brown hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a poppy brooch.

Nam continues MICHELLE CORDY, ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL TEACHER IN THE THAMES VALLEY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD...

Michelle is in her thirties, with short blond hair. She's wearing a red and black shirt, a silver chain necklace, and a poppy brooch.

Nam continues HENRI BRISARD, DEVELOPER AND WEB PERFORMANCE ANALYST...

Henri is in his late thirties, shaven-headed, with a trimmed goatee. He's wearing rounded glasses, a gray polo shirt, and a poppy brooch.

Nam continues WELCOME, EVERYONE.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.
BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE,
I WANTED US TO TAKE A LOOK AT
THE PAST.

A clip plays on screen in which a woman with wavy blond hair sits in front of an old-fashioned computer, probably from the 80s, and then turns to face the screen.

She says COMPUTERS ARE BECOMING AS
COMMON AS THE CAR.
THEY'RE BEING USED IN HOMES,
OFFICES, AND FACTORIES.

A woman in her forties with brown hair and bangs says I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT
WE DECIDE WHAT MIGHT BE THE
APPROPRIATE EXPERIENCES TO GIVE
TO CHILDREN GIVEN THE
PROLIFERATION OF COMPUTERS IN
OUR LIVES.

A boy around 10 says YOU KNOW THAT YOU'RE GOING TO
BE USING COMPUTERS WHEN YOU GROW
UP BECAUSE IT'S GOOD TO LEARN
HOW TO USE THEM NOW.

A man in his forties with short brown hair says THERE'S NO FACET OF LIFE THAT
WILL BE UNTOUCHED BY THE
MICROPROCESSOR.

The boy says IF YOU LEARN HOW TO USE
COMPUTERS IN SCHOOL, YOU MIGHT
BE ABLE TO LEARN HOW TO PROGRAM
YOUR WORK ON DISKS AND CASSETTES
AND ALL THAT STUFF.

The blond woman says COMPUTERS ARE
REDESIGNING JOBS AND ELIMINATING
OTHERS AND WE'RE TOLD THIS IS
ONLY THE BEGINNING.
IF THAT'S THE CASE, WILL OUR
CHILDREN BE PREPARED FOR THE
FUTURE?
ARE OUR SCHOOLS TEACHING THEM
WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW?

Fast clips compare old computers with modern day computers.

The clip ends.

The caption changes to "Updating curriculum."

Nam says SO OBVIOUSLY THAT TAPE
IS A FEW DECADES OLD AND
TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED A LOT.
SO QUESTION: HAS THE EDUCATION
SYSTEM CHANGED, AND ARE WE
TEACHING OUR KIDS WHAT THEY NEED
TO KNOW ABOUT COMPUTER SCIENCE?
MICHELLE, DO YOU WANT TO TAKE
THAT FIRST?

The caption changes to "Michelle Cordy. Elementary School Teacher.."

Michelle says OF COURSE
OUR SYSTEM HAS CHANGED.
I'M PROUD OF BEING A TEACHER IN
ONTARIO AND OUR CURRICULUM HAS
CHANGED SEVERAL TIMES.
CURRENTLY WE DON'T HAVE CODING
IN THE CURRICULUM AND I THINK
THERE'S LOTS OF PEOPLE HURRYING
TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER IT SHOULD
BE THERE.
THERE'S LOTS OF TEACHERS ACROSS
ONTARIO THAT ARE LIKE ME THAT
ARE TRYING TO FIND WAYS OF
INTEGRATING INTO THE CURRICULUM.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THERE'S LOTS OF
THINKING SKILLS THAT REALLY
RELATE TO COMPUTATIONAL THINKING
AND CODING THAT WE'RE
INTEGRATING INTO THE CLASSROOM
AND THERE ARE CORE SKILLS THAT
ARE SUPER IMPORTANT, READING,
WRITING, MATH IS A BIG FOCUS IN
ONTARIO SCHOOLS RIGHT NOW, THAT
HAS TO FIND A WAY TO BE, FOR
INSTANCE, BETTER, AND IF WE'RE
GOING TO INTRODUCE CODING INTO
THE CURRICULUM, IT SHOULD
COMPLEMENT THESE AREAS.

Nam says BEFORE WE CONTINUE THE
CONVERSATION, I WANTED TO TALK
ABOUT SOME TERMINOLOGY.
SO WHEN WE SAY COMPUTER SCIENCE,
WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT WHEN
WE SAY CODING, WHAT ARE WE
TALKING ABOUT?
HENRI, DO YOU WANT TO TAKE THIS?

The caption changes to "Henri Brisard. Developer."

Henri says I THINK
COMPUTER SCIENCE COVERS SO MUCH,
IT'S HARD TO REALLY PINPOINT
WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS OUTSIDE THE
IDEA THAT YOU'RE LIKELY GOING TO
BE DOING SOME PROGRAMMING.
I THINK A LOT OF THE CODING,
WHAT PEOPLE KNOW TODAY AS
CODING, BECAUSE REALLY CODING
HAS BEEN AROUND FOREVER.
WHAT PEOPLE KNOW AS CODING TODAY
IS WHAT THEY SAY EXPERIENCED IN
THE LAST FOUR OR FIVE YEARS,
WHICH IS, HEY, I'M GOING TO PUT
A WEB PAGE UP, OR I'M GOING TO
CREATE LIKE THE NEXT FACEBOOK
BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO CODE FOR
THAT.
I MEAN, COMPUTER SCIENCE DOES
COVER A LOT.
LIKE YOU SAID, A LOT OF IT IS
SORT OF, YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY IS
THINKING THAT MAY NOT BE
NECESSARY FOR CERTAIN ASPECTS OF
CODING AS WE KNOW IT, BUT, I
MEAN, THERE'S SO MUCH INVOLVED
IN COMPUTER SCIENCE, AND IT GOES
BACK TO THE DISCUSSION WE JUST
HAD, WHICH IS CODING AS WHAT
PEOPLE REGARD AS CODING NOW AND
A CS DEGREE, WHAT THESE
DIFFERENCES ARE.
YOU KNOW...

Nam says I ACTUALLY SAID TO ME
YOU DON'T LIKE THE NAME CODER.
YOU DON'T WANT TO BE KNOWN AS
CODER, YOU PREFER PROGRAMMER?

Henri says THERE'S
DEVELOPER, THERE'S PROGRAMMER,
THERE'S CODING SORT OF TERM NOW,
I THINK IT'S... YOU KNOW, PEOPLE
KNOW WHAT CODE IS.
SO THEY JUST GO AROUND SAYING,
HEY, I'M CODING NOW.
BUT ULTIMATELY, IF IT IT'S
WHAT'S GOING TO MAKE YOU
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PROCESS IS,
FINE.
BUT YOU'LL FIND A LOT ARE NOT
NECESSARILY, YOU KNOW, ENTHUSED
WITH THE TERM.

Nam says NOW, IN ONTARIO RIGHT
NOW, CHILDREN ARE TAUGHT
COMPUTER SCIENCE IN GRADE 10,
AND IT'S NOT MANDATORY, IT'S AN
ELECTIVE.
DO YOU THINK THAT GRADE 10 IS
TOO LATE TO LEARN COMPUTER
SCIENCE?

The caption changes to "Melissa Sariffodeen. Ladies Learning Code."

Melissa says DEFINITELY I THINK IT'S TOO
LATE. IT'S A LANGUAGE.
THE SAME WAY WE'RE TEACHING
FRENCH OR ENGLISH, IF WE'RE
INTRODUCING THAT IN GRADE 10 AND
EXPECTING THEM TO FIND A JOB OR
CAREER OR CONSIDER PURSUING IT,
THEY DON'T REALLY HAVE THE
FOUNDATION THAT THEY NEED AT
THAT POINT.
I THINK IT'S TOO LATE.
AND FOR GIRLS ESPECIALLY, YOU
KNOW, OUR EXPERIENCE AT LADIES
LEARNING CODE, BY THAT TIME
THEY'RE NOT INTERESTED.
THEY'VE DECIDED THAT CODING OR
TECHNOLOGY ISN'T FOR THEM, IT'S
NOT COOL OR, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT
POPULAR TO BE GOOD AT MATH, SO
IT'S TOO LATE FOR A LOT OF THE
GIRLS WE'RE SEEING THROUGH OUR
PROGRAM.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THAT IF
THE CURRICULUM WAS UPDATED OR
OVERHAULED, THAT WOULD CHANGE
THINGS?
DO YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE
UPDATED AS A TEACHER?

Michelle says I THINK THE
CURRICULUM NEEDS TO BE UPDATED
ON A REGULAR BASIS IN ALL AREAS.
BEFORE I ANSWER THAT QUESTION,
CAN I INTRODUCE ONE MORE TERM?
COMPUTATIONAL THINKING.
THAT'S REALLY THE BIG IDEA THAT
EDUCATORS AND RESEARCHERS HAVE
FALLEN ON IN THIS AREA AND
CODING IS A PART OF THAT AND
COMPUTATIONAL THINKING THAT IS
THREE MAIN COMPONENTS, IT HAS
THE CODING WHICH IS THE STUFF
YOU DO AT LADIES LEARNING CODE,
IT'S LIKE THE FUNCTIONS AND THE
LOOPS AND THE CONDITIONALS.
THEN THERE'S THE NEXT PART WHICH
IS A THINKING THAT UNDERPINS
WHAT PROGRAMMERS... SORRY,
DEVELOPERS DO, AND THAT IS
TAKING A LARGE PROBLEM AND
BREAKING IT DOWN INTO SMALLER
PARTS.
DEBUGGING.
TAKING A PROGRAM THAT ALREADY
EXISTS AND REMIXING IT.
AND THEN FINALLY THERE'S THE
ATTITUDES.
I MEAN, THAT'S THE GOOD WORK YOU
DO AT LADIES LEARNING CODE,
GETTING WOMEN AND GIRLS TO SEE
THEMSELVES AS CODERS.
SO THE ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS
PART OF COMPUTATIONAL THINKING
IS FOR EVERYONE TO SEE
THEMSELVES CAPABLE AND COMPETENT
AND THAT THEY COULD ENGAGE IN
THIS KIND OF THING.

Nam says IF, SAY, THE
CURRICULUM WAS UPDATED AND YOU
MENTIONED THIS BEFORE, SOMETHING
WOULD PROBABLY HAVE TO BE
DROPPED... CORRECT?

Michelle says YEAH, I
MEAN, IT'S ALL ABOUT TRADE-OFFS,
RIGHT?
WE REALLY IN ONTARIO ARE
FOCUSING ON EXCELLENCE.
WE'RE FOCUSING ON WELL-BEING.
WE'RE FOCUSING ON INDIGENOUS
LEARNING OR INDIGENOUS LEARNERS.
THERE ARE LOTS OF REALLY
IMPORTANT INITIATIVES.
AND TEACHERS, WE'RE REALLY BUSY.
AND WE NEED TO IMPROVE OUR MATH
SCORES IN ONTARIO.
BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE
CAN'T MAKE SOME REALLY BOLD
DECISIONS ABOUT INTEGRATING
COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN THE
CURRICULUM.
WHEN YOU WANT TO INNOVATE, THE
DARK SIDE OF INVASION AND THE
DARK SIDE OF MOVING FORWARD IS
INEVITABLY SOME CREATIVE
DESTRUCTION.
INEVITABLY SOMETHING HAS TO
GIVE.

Melissa says TO
YOUR POINT, CODING IS ONE PART
OF COMPUTATIONAL THINKING AND
THERE'S ALREADY SO MUCH
ALIGNMENT.
WHAT WE'RE DOING WITH OUR
EDUCATOR TRAINING IS HOW CAN WE
TIE IN CODING AND COMPUTATIONAL
THINKING INTO A CLASSROOM
SETTING AND THE MATERIAL ALREADY
TEACHING.
INSTEAD OF A STUDENT WRITING A
BOOK REPORT ON PAPER OR TYPING
IT OUT, CAN THEY BUILD A WEBSITE
OR A GAME?
IS THERE A WAY WE CAN INTRODUCE
BUILDING TECHNOLOGY IN THE
SCHOOL SETTING AND INTEGRATE IT
MORE SEAMLESSLY WITH THE THINGS
YOU'RE ALREADY TEACHING IN THE
CLASSROOM.

The caption changes to "Henri Brisard. Web Performance Analyst."

Henri says SOMETHING I
FIND PRETTY INTERESTING, AND YOU
MENTIONED UNPROVOKED YOU SAID
THIS WE HAVE TO IMPROVE THE MATH
SCORES IN ONTARIO.
I THINK ONE OF THE REASONS THAT,
YOU KNOW, CODING OR DEVELOPMENT
HAS BECOME FAIRLY POPULAR OF
LATE IS THAT IT WAS ONCE
BELIEVED THAT YOU HAD TO HAVE
MATH TO BE IN, QUOTE, UNQUOTE,
STEM.
AND PEOPLE HAVE REALIZED THAT,
YOU KNOW, DEVELOPMENT, THE KIND
WE SEE TODAY, YOU CAN DO THIS
WITHOUT HEAVY MATH.
NOW, GRANTED IN CERTAIN AREAS,
IF YOU EXPAND, YOU'RE GOING TO
NEED IT.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THE DOOR IN HAS
BEEN, YOU KNOW, WITHOUT MATH AND
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SITTING THERE
GOING, OH, MY, ALL THIS TIME I
THOUGHT MATH WAS MANDATORY FOR STEM.
AND TO AN EXTENT...

Nam says STEM IS SCIENCE,
TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATH?

Henri says EXACTLY.
THEY'VE DONE CODING AND
DEVELOPMENT INTO STEM, YOU KNOW.
SOME MIGHT ARGUE, AGAIN.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THE FACT THAT
MATH WAS NOT REALLY ABSOLUTELY
MANDATORY FOR THIS, YOU FIND
PEOPLE DISCOVERING THIS
OPPORTUNITY TEN YEARS LATER, 15
YEARS LATER, THINKING THAT MATH
WAS GOING TO BE THE CRUTCH AND
THEY'D GET OUT OF IT RIGHT AWAY.

The caption changes to "Michelle Cordy, @cordym"

Michelle says TEACHERS
AND RESEARCHERS ARE WONDERING
WHERE IS COMPUTATIONAL THINKING
AND CODING GOING TO BE.
YOU ASKED WHAT WE MIGHT TAKE OUT
OF THE CURRICULUM TO MAKE SPACE
FOR THIS?
SOME SAY IT MAY BE IN MATH.
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS IMPORTANT
THAT THERE ISN'T NECESSARILY A
ONE-TO-ONE CONNECTION BETWEEN
MATHEMATICAL THINKING AND
PROCESSES AND CODING AND
COMPUTATIONAL THINKING.
WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN CURRICULA
IN BRITISH COLUMBIA AND IN OTHER
COUNTRIES THAT HAVE IMPLEMENTED
IT, IT'S EITHER ITS OWN COURSE
OR IT FOLDS INTO ANOTHER
SUBJECT.

Nam says WHO TEACHES THE
TEACHERS THEN?

Michelle says GREAT QUESTION.

The caption changes to "Melissa Sariffodeen, @melsariffodeen"

Melissa says AS
SOON AS B.C. MADE THE
ANNOUNCEMENT, OUR INBOX WAS
FLOODED WITH EDUCATORS WHO
WANTED TO TAKE THE PROGRAM AND
LEARN THIS.
IT'S INTERESTING, IT CAN GO A
FEW WAYS.
THERE'S DEFINITELY AN
OPPORTUNITY ON THIS
EXTRACURRICULAR FRONT FOR
ORGANIZERS LIKE MINE AND OTHERS
TO WORK WITH EDUCATORS TO TEACH
THE STUFF.
THERE'S A LOT THAT YOU CAN DO AS
AN EDUCATOR TO TEACH... USE
COMPUTATIONAL THINKING WITHOUT
HAVING A COMPUTER SCIENCE
BACKGROUND, I FIRMLY BELIEVE.
IF YOU'VE GIVEN YOUR
TWO-YEAR-OLD AN IPAD YOU'LL
REALIZE THEY'RE THE SMARTEST
ONES IN THE ROOM WITH
TECHNOLOGY.
IT CAN BE A DISCUSSION HOW CAN
EDUCATORS START FACILITATING
KIDS LEARNING THIS STUFF AS
OPPOSED TO LECTURING WHAT
THEY'RE TYPICALLY USED TO.
IT'S HANDS-ON DISCOVERY-BASED
LEARNING, AND I THINK THAT'S
SOMETHING WE CAN EQUIP OUR
TEACHERS TO INTRODUCE A LOT
QUICKER THAN WE'D EXPECT.

Nam says SORRY, GO AHEAD.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram."
Then, it changes again to "Henri Brisard, @HenriHelvetica"

Henri says I WAS GOING
TO SAY, I THINK THE UNFORTUNATE
PART RIGHT HERE IS WE'RE IN THIS
TRANSITIONAL PERIOD, RIGHT?
AGAIN, I MEAN, WE HAD THIS
CONVERSATION, AS THE SON OF, YOU
KNOW, FINE EDUCATORS WHO ARE
RETIRED NOW, YOU KNOW, THEY GOT
OUT BEFORE THIS SORT OF RUSH TO
CODE.
SOMEONE WHO IS IN RIGHT NOW,
SAY, YOU KNOW, 15 YEARS IN, WHO
NEVER REALLY GOT INTO, YOU KNOW,
ANY KIND OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING
OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, THEY'RE
GOING TO GO THROUGH A TOUGH
PERIOD RIGHT NOW.
IF THEY HAVE TO SUDDENLY
INTRODUCE THIS KIND OF TEACHING
INTO THEIR CLASS... NOW, NOT
ONLY THAT, YOU ALSO HAVE THE
IDEA THAT, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE
KEYS ABOUT DEVELOPMENT AND
CODING IS THAT A LOT OF IT WAS
DONE, OR WAS CAPABLE, ON YOUR
OWN.
YOU KNOW, YOU CAN GO IN AND LOOK
AT THE SOURCE CODE AND TEACH
YOURSELF HOW THESE THINGS WORK.
SO YOU MAY BE IN THE SITUATION,
LIKE THE TEACHER, WITH A STUDENT
WHO KNOWS WAY MORE THAN YOU AND
THEN YOU SIT THERE AND, YOU
KNOW, I WOULD IMAGINE, AS AN
EDUCATOR, THAT MIGHT NOT BE VERY
COMFORTABLE.
SO RIGHT NOW I THINK THIS IS A
WEIRD SORT OF TRANSITIONAL
PERIOD THAT'S VERY GRAY AND VERY
LARGE, AND IT'S NOT UNTIL MAYBE
5, 10, 15 YEARS FROM NOW WHERE
YOU WILL HAVE THAT ABSOLUTE
TEACHER, I FIND DEVELOPMENT, AND
YOU'RE COMING IN GOING TO LEARN
FROM DAY ONE.

Michelle says WE ALREADY
HAVE THE PROBLEM OF KIDS BEING
SMARTER THAN THEIR TEACHERS.
I'M NOT THE SMARTEST PERSON IN
THE ROOM BECAUSE WE HAVE GOOGLE
AND THE INTERNET.
WE ALREADY HAVE THAT SITUATION.
I THINK TEACHERS ACROSS ONTARIO
ARE ADAPTING OUR TEACHING
METHODS AND REALLY SHIFTING THE
FOCUS OF WHO HAS THE POWER AND
THE ANSWER IN THE ROOM.
IS IT THE TEACHER?
I MEAN, ARE WE GOING TO HAVE
PEOPLE THAT HAVE COMPUTER
SCIENCE DEGREES CHOOSING TO GO
INTO TEACHING? MAYBE.
ARE WE GOING TO HAVE A LOT?
PROBABLY NOT.
BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY JOBS
THAT ARE GOING TO BE AVAILABLE
IN COMPUTER SCIENCE THAT THERE'S
PROBABLY... THAT'S PROBABLY
WHERE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GO.

Nam says IN PREPARATION FOR THE
SCHOOL YEAR, YOU TRAVELLED TO BERLIN. WHY?

Michelle says I WENT TO
BERLIN AS PART OF THE
DISTINGUISHED EDUCATOR PROGRAM,
AND APPLE HAD JUST RELEASED THIS
REALLY COOL APP. THAT HELPED
KIDS CALLED APPLE EQUIPPED
PROGRAM AND IT BRIDGES THE BASE
BETWEEN BLOCK CODING WHERE KIDS
BUILD CODE AS THOUGH THEY'RE
BUILDING IT WITH LEGO, THEY TAKE
PREPACKAGED BLOCKS AND PUT THEM
TOGETHER AND MAKE SOMETHING
HAPPEN.
THAT'S A BIG STEP TO ACTUAL
PROGRAMMING AND CODING.
APPLE FITS THIS NICE GAP THAT
CAN BRIDGE THAT FROM BLOCKED
BASED PROGRAM TO CODING.
I PARTICIPATED IN LEARNING ABOUT
HOW TO SITUATE THAT IN THE
CLASSROOM AND THEN OF COURSE ALL
THE OTHER GREAT THINGS YOU CAN
DO WITH TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASS.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS
BEING WITH OTHER EDUCATORS
AROUND THE WORLD THAT ALREADY
HAVE CODING... COMPUTATIONAL
THINKING IN THEIR CURRICULUM AND
GETTING A SNEAK PEEK AT WHAT IT
MIGHT LOOK LIKE WHEN IT
EVENTUALLY COMES INTO THE
ONTARIO CURRICULUM.

Nam says I WANTED TO FOLLOW UP
ON SOMETHING THAT I THINK ALL OF
YOU HAVE MENTIONED, WHICH IS THE
DISCOVERY STAGE, WHEN A CHILD IS
YOUNG AND THEY'RE DISCOVERING
THINGS.
IS IT BETTER FOR CHILDREN TO
DISCOVER HOW TO CODE OR HOW TO
USE COMPUTERS AS OPPOSED TO
ACTUALLY BEING TAUGHT?
WILL IT JUST BECOME ONE OF THOSE
THINGS, I DON'T WANT TO GO TO
CODING CLASS, I DON'T WANT TO DO
THIS, INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM
DISCOVER IT ON THEIR OWN?

Melissa says I
WOULD SAY YES, IT'S BETTER TO
EXPOSE THEM TO WHAT GOES ON
BEHIND THE SCREENS EARLIER ON.
THERE ARE SO MANY INTERACTIVE
GAMES AND APPS AND THINGS THAT
ARE REALLY, REALLY ENGAGING TO
GET THEM THINKING ABOUT THAT.
I THINK IT'S CRITICAL.
IT'S NOT JUST CODING AS A
LANGUAGE FOR A JOB, IT'S THESE
OTHER SKILLS, IT'S HOW TO SOLVE
PROBLEMS, HOW TO FAIL.
THAT'S A HUGE COMPONENT THAT WE
ADVOCATE FOR, IS TEACHING KIDS
HOW TO FAIL.
AND THEN WHAT DID YOU DO WITH
THAT FAILURE?
AS A SOCIETY THAT'S NOT WHERE
OUR STRENGTHS LIE.
GIRLS ESPECIALLY HAVE THIS
ANXIETY AROUND BEING PERFECT.
CODING AND TEACHING THEM THESE
CONCEPTS ALLOWS THEM TO DO THAT.
I THINK WE NEED TO TEACH OUR
YOUTH AT A YOUNG AGE THOSE
CONCEPTS, EVEN IF THEY'RE NOT
ALL GOING TO BECOME DEVELOPERS.

Nam says WE HEAR CONVERSATION
ABOUT LIMITING SCREEN TIME FOR
CHILDREN.
I HAVE A THREE AND A
FIVE-YEAR-OLD AND I HAVE BEEN
TOLD THEY SHOULDN'T EVEN HAVE
TABLETS BEFORE AGE TWO.
ISN'T THAT TWO OPPOSING
ARGUMENTS?
YOU HAVE TO TEACH IT BUT LIMIT
THE SCREEN TIME?

Michelle says I MEAN, THE
THING IS, IF YOU TRY TO LIMIT
SCREEN TIME TOO MUCH, KIDS ARE
GOING TO BE LIKE I WANT IT MORE.
I THINK... WHAT ARE WE DOING
WITH THOSE SCREENS?
ARE WE CONSUMING APPS THAT ARE
SORT OF DRAG AND DROP AND VERY
STIMULATING AND ARE TRIGGERING
US AT OUR LOWER BRAIN STEM, MUCH
LIKE EATING SUGAR, OR DOING
THINGS WITH OUR DEVICES THAT
GIVE US A SENSE OF POWER AND
CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES?
MY HUSBAND TEACHES KINDERGARTEN
AND HIS KINDERGARTEN CLASS WE'RE
DOING SOME CODING ACTIVITIES AND
A GUIDANCE CLASS IS USING AN
APP. AND HE'S LIKE WHAT DOES
THIS LITTLE GUY WANT ME TO DO?
THINK ABOUT THAT.
WHAT DOES THE GUY WANT ME TO DO?
WHERE IS THE POWER THERE?
LIKE, HE THINKS THAT HE IS AT
THE SERVICE OF THE APP., OF THE
MACHINE.
DON'T WE WANT TO BE THE OTHER
WAY AROUND?
LIKE, FUNDAMENTALLY WHERE THE
MACHINE IS AT THE SERVICE OF THE
CHILD?
SO WHERE'S THAT POWER SHIFT
GOING TO BE.
YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT APPROPRIATE USE OF
TECHNOLOGY, I MEAN, WE WANT OUR
KIDS TO CLIMB TREES AND WORK ON
IPADS OR ANY TECHNOLOGY, BUT WE
ALSO WANT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT
KIND OF THINGS ARE THEY DOING
WITH IT?
ARE THEY CONSUMING OR ARE THEY
CREATING AND FEELING POWERFUL?

Nam says SO THE IDEA IS CONSUME
LESS, CREATE MORE PERHAPS?

Michelle says LIKE AN EQUAL MIX.
YOU'RE ALLOWED TO HAVE SUGARY
SWEETS BUT ALSO EAT YOUR
VEGETABLES THAT HELP GROW YOUR
BRAIN.

Nam says YOU'RE TEACHING
2 MILLION HOW TO CODE.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

An ad plays on screen.
Music plays and fast clips show a city, people at a work meeting, and a Canadian flag.

A female voice says TECHNOLOGY IS THE FUTURE.
BUT BY 2020, THERE WILL BE A
SHORTAGE OF MORE THAN 200,000
I.C.T. WORKERS IN CANADA.
AS A NATION, HOW ARE WE GOING TO
DRIVE INNOVATION AND SOLVE THE
WORLD'S BIGGEST PROBLEMS WHILE
FACING THIS GAP?

Fast clips show bustling cities. A caption reads "How will we thrive and prosper?"

The voice continues HOW WILL WE PROSPER SOCIALLY AND
ECONOMICALLY WHEN ONLY A PORTION
OF CANADIANS WILL HAVE THE
SKILLS NEEDED TO PARTICIPATE
FULLY IN OUR DIGITAL WORLD?

The clip ends.

Nam says MELISSA, WHY DO YOU
WANT TO TEACH 10 MILLION
CANADIANS HOW TO CODE?

Michelle says I THINK WE HAVE TO.
THE STAT THAT WAS CITED THERE
AROUND JOBS, THAT'S REALLY ONLY
A SMALL PART OF THE REASON WHY.
AS AN ECONOMY, IF WE'RE GOING TO
PROSPER ECONOMICALLY AND
SOCIALLY, WE NEED MORE
DEVELOPERS AND TECHNICAL PEOPLE.
WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO IS WE
DON'T KNOW WHAT THE JOBS OF THE
FUTURE ARE YET.
AND THE SKILLS, COMPUTATIONAL
THINKING, ABILITY TO CODE, THESE
ARE THE SKILLS THAT CAN HELP THE
NEXT GENERATION, OUR YOUTH,
INNOVATE AND HOW TO CREATE THOSE
FUTURE JOBS.
THE PUSH FOR HAVING 10 MILLION
CANADIANS IS REALLY, YOU KNOW, A
PART OF DIVERSITY AND GETTING
THESE UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS
LEARNING THE STUFF BECAUSE I
THINK A REALLY, REALLY CRITICAL
PART ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, LIKE YOU
SAID, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO
CONTROL AND INFLUENCE IT.
YOU KNOW, THE SAME GROUP OF
PEOPLE ARE BUILDING IT AND THAT
GROUP ISN'T REPRESENTATIVE OF
THE GROUP USING IT, I THINK
WE'RE IN A BAD SPOT.
WE WANT TECHNOLOGY BUILT BY AND
REPRESENT THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE
UP OUR SOCIETY.

Nam says WHO IS MISSING FROM
THAT CONVERSATION?

Michelle says WOMEN,
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES, NEWCOMERS...
THERE'S A LOT OF MISSING PIECES
IN THE CANADIAN LANDSCAPE AND
WORLD WIDE, BUT I THINK FOR US
THE BIGGEST PUSH OVER THE NEXT
FEW YEARS IS WOMEN AND
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND GETTING
THEM TO THE TABLE AND STARTING
TO BUILD AND BE PART OF THE
PROCESS OF BUILDING TECHNOLOGY.

The caption changes to "The future."

Henri says I WOULD HOPE
THAT INCLUDES THE BROADER ASPECT
OF DIVERSITY AS WELL, I MEAN,
BECAUSE BY SAYING WOMEN AND
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, PEOPLE HAVE
TWO VISIONS RIGHT AWAY, BUT I
THINK IT'S MUCH BROADER THAN
THAT.
ALSO, I'M GOING TO SAY THIS: THE
NEED FOR 10 MILLION CODERS IS
MILDLY ALARMIST TO ME AND I
THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE NEED TO
REALIZE THAT I THINK BEING
CONVERSANT IN CODE IS ONE THING,
NEEDING 10 MILLION CODERS IS
TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
AND I THINK THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE
NEED TO SEE THAT CODING REALLY
LEADS TO A LOT OF DIFFERENT
OPPORTUNITIES AND, YOU KNOW,
WHICH IS WHY I LIKE THE IDEA OF
BEING CONVERSANT AND THEN MOVING
ON TO SOMETHING ELSE.
WHAT IS A CLASSIC DISCUSSION
THAT'S HAPPENING, SAY, AT SOME
BUSINESSES?
YOU HAVE THE DEVELOPERS AND YOU
HAVE THE DESIGNERS.
THIS IS A CLASSIC BATTLE RIGHT
NOW.
AND A LOT OF TIMES DESIGNERS ARE
BEING ASKED TO BE A BIT MORE
CONVERSANT IN CODE, SO THIS
CONVERSATION CAN BE A LITTLE
SMOOTHER. I WAS SAYING THE
EXACT SAME THING.
BEING ABLE TO UNDERSTAND HOW
CODE SORT OF, LIKE, READS AND
WHATNOT AND WORKS I THINK WILL
HELP A DESIGNER AND YOU'LL SEE
LOTS OF TIMES CODERS EVENTUALLY
GOING INTO PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

Michelle says TO BUILD ON
THAT, RIGHT NOW PEOPLE GET
ONLINE.
I'M ONLINE AT CORDY M AND WE DO
OUR SHOPPING AND OUR LIVES ARE
ONLINE.
YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE IS ONLINE?
MY THERMOSTAT.
INCREASINGLY... THE INTERNET IS
NOT JUST PEOPLE, IT'S THINGS AS
WELL.
HOW DO WE DEVELOP OUR SENSE OF
BELONGING IN SOCIETY WHEN THAT
IS HAPPENING AT ARM'S LENGTH, AT
A DISTANCE WHERE WE CAN'T REALLY
UNDERSTAND THE THINKING THAT
GOES BEHIND THAT.
SO I THINK THAT IT'S MORE THAN
JUST EVEN A PIPELINE TO
EMPLOYMENT.
I THINK IT'S SORT OF A NECESSITY
OF FEELING LIKE YOU UNDERSTAND
THE WORLD AROUND YOU AND THAT
YOU ARE, LIKE, CENTRAL TO THAT
WORLD AND YOU FEEL POWERFUL IN IT.

Melissa says THE
SAME IDEA OF WHY WE TEACH MATH
AND SCIENCE.
NOT 10 MILLION DEVELOPERS.
IT'S THE REASON WE TEACH
SCIENTISTS NOT TO HAVE A WORLD
OF SCIENTISTS, IT'S SO WE
UNDERSTAND SCIENCE AND MATH.
THAT'S THE IDEA.
WE UNDERSTAND HOW TO REWRITE
CODE, NOT BECAUSE 10 MILLION
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE
DEVELOPERS.
I DON'T THINK OUR COUNTRY COULD
SUPPORT 10 MILLION DEVELOPERS.
BUT UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF
IT IS AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM
REQUIREMENT I THINK TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD FULLY.

Nam says I WANT TO TALK MORE
ABOUT THIS IDEA OF INCLUSION AND
I WANTED TO READ THIS ARTICLE
FROM THE WASHINGTON POST...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Coding for all." The quote reads "Digital technologies are not just a workforce issue. They are deeply embedded in the ways we live, work, play, socialize, learn and teach. Students not only need to learn how to participate in, but also how to make, the digital world they live in. How do we open the door to students who have been denied access to this knowledge? Schools and teachers must become the force of equity."
Quoted from Jane Margolis and Yasmin Kafai, The Washington Post. October 17, 2014.

Nam says AND THIS IS COURTESY
OF JANE MARGOLIS AND
YASMIN KAFAI.

Michelle says THANK YOU
FOR SHARING THAT.
I THINK IT GOES BACK TO THE
QUESTION YOU ASKED EARLIER, WHEN
DO WE INTRODUCE KIDS?
IF WE LET KIDS DISCOVER IT ON
THEIR OWN, WE'LL HAVE A LOT OF
KIDS WHO DON'T GET INTO PEEK
INTO THIS WORLD AND SEE WHAT
CODING AND COMPUTATIONAL
THINKING IS ALL ABOUT.
AND IT'S MY JOB AND IT'S YOUR
JOB AS A PARENT AND OUR VIEWERS'
JOB TO INTRODUCE THE CHILDREN
THEY CARE FOR TO THINGS THEY
DON'T KNOW THEY LOVE YET.
THAT SOLVES THE EQUITY ISSUE...
LIKE, MAYBE NOT EVERYBODY WILL
CODE.
BUT SHOULDN'T EVERYBODY HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO SEE WHAT IT'S
ABOUT AND WHETHER IT'S SOMETHING
FOR THEM?
I THINK THAT'S AT THE HEART OF
EQUITY.
AND THAT GOES ACROSS EDUCATION.
I THINK THAT'S TRUE FOR HEALTH
AND WELLNESS.
I THINK THAT'S TRUE FOR THE
ARTS.
LIKE, THAT'S NOT JUST IN THIS
ONE AREA.

Nam says MELISSA, YOU TOUCHED
ON THIS A LITTLE BIT.
THERE'S A DOCUMENTED GENDER
IMBALANCE IN THIS FIELD IN
CANADA, AND ACCORDING TO AN
ARTICLE IN MACLEAN'S MAGAZINE,
THIS BLOWS MY MIND...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Canadian women in STEM."
It shows that in 1987 20 percent of people in STEM were women.

Nam continues TODAY IT'S ONLY AT A WHOPPING
22 percent.
TECH COMPANIES LIKE FACEBOOK,
TWITTER, HAVE BEEN CRITICIZED
FOR NOT HIRING ENOUGH WOMEN OR
RACIALIZED PEOPLE.
CAN THE INTRODUCTION OF CODING
IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HELP TO
COMBAT THIS?

The caption changes to "The great equalizer?"

Melissa says I
THINK THERE'S A LOT OF ISSUES AT
PLAY.
I DON'T WANT TO SIMPLIFY THE
PROBLEM BECAUSE THERE'S
SOMETHING WORK FORCES CAN DO.
IF YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT THE
FUNNEL, IF WE CAN ENGAGE AND
KEEP MORE WOMEN AND GIRLS
ENGAGED AT A YOUNG AGE SO WHEN
THEY ENTER UNIVERSITY, THEY
PURSUE COMPUTER SCIENCE, THEY
PURSUE JOBS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE.
THAT WILL GO A LONG WAY AND
THAT'S THE WORK WE'RE TRYING TO
DO.
ONCE THEY GET INTO THE WORK
FORCE, THERE'S STILL ALSO A LOT
TO KEEP THEM THERE AND THERE'S A
LOT OF RECENT ARTICLES ABOUT
THAT AND THE ENVIRONMENT THAT
EXISTS IN TECH COMPANIES.
BUT I THINK IT'S REALLY ABOUT
EXPOSING THEM AND GETTING THEM
EXCITED AND KEEPING THEM EXCITED
AND GIVING THEM THE
OPPORTUNITIES TO KEEP LEARNING
AND TO KIND OF COMBAT THAT
STEREOTYPE THAT, GIRLS, IT'S NOT
COOL TO BE GOOD AT MATH OR
SCIENCE AND COMPUTERS ARE THESE
BIG DAUNTING THINGS, WHEREAS
THEY'RE ACCESSIBLE AND EASY TO
GET STARTED AND PICK IT UP.
THE SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS A HUGE
ROLE TO PLAY TO INTRODUCE THIS
TO EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY GIRLS.

Henri says YOU KNOW WHAT?
I WILL AGREE THERE.
IT'S A LONG EQUATION WITH
MULTIPLE VARIABLES, AND I THINK
IT'S EDUCATION, IT'S ATTITUDE, I
THINK THERE'S CURIOSITY INVOLVED
NO MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT.
I REMEMBER THE DAY, YOU KNOW, MY
FATHER CAME HOME AND HE DROPPED
A TEXAS INSTRUMENT COMPUTER IN
FRONT OF ME AND THERE WAS A BOOK
AND HE WAS LIKE, GO NUTS.
AND I REMEMBER SITTING THERE,
LIKE, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?
I PUT IT TOGETHER.
BACK THEN THERE WEREN'T REALLY
MONITORS, THERE WAS LIKE A T.V.
AND I PUT THAT TOGETHER AND A
FEW MONTHS LATER I MADE IT SING
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM.
ALSO I THINK ON THE EDUCATIONAL
SIDE, YOU KNOW, THINK ABOUT THE
DAYS WHERE A GUIDANCE COUNSELLOR
MAY HAVE TOLD YOU, YOU KNOW
WHAT?
DON'T GO INTO THIS AREA BECAUSE
I THINK YOUR STRENGTHS LIKE
HERE.
AND AT THE MAY HAVE BEEN NICE TO
YOU IN LETTING YOU KNOW WHAT
THEY THINK, THEY BELIEVE YOU
MIGHT BE BEST AT, BUT, AGAIN,
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE
DISCOVERY ELEMENT.
WHY NOT OFFER THIS DISCOVERY AND
SEE WHAT HAPPENS, YOU KNOW,
LATER ON.
I THINK PART OF THAT IS MISSING.

Nam says BUT YOU WERE LUCKY
ENOUGH TO HAVE PARENTS WHO HAD
THOSE RESOURCES.

Henri says ABSOLUTELY.

Nam says HOW IMPORTANT IS IT
FOR PARENTS TO BE INVOLVED FOR
KIDS WHO DON'T HAVE THAT?

Henri says THE PARENTS
NEED TO ALSO KNOW WHAT IS OUT
THERE, YOU KNOW?
SO IF YOU HAVE A PARENT WHO
DOESN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND
COMPUTER SCIENCE OR COMPUTERS,
WHATEVER BENEFITS THEY MAY
PROVIDE, THEY MAY NOT BE THE ONE
BRINGING THAT COMPUTER HOME TO
THEIR KID SAYING, HEY, TRY THIS
HERE.
I HERE THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE
COOL.
BUILD SOMETHING.
THAT'S ALSO PART OF THE
CHALLENGE.
THAT'S WHY I SAY THERE ARE MANY
VARIABLES IN THIS EQUATION...
YES, EXPOSURE IS CERTAINLY ONE
OF THEM.
WE KNOW THAT GOOD THINGS HAPPEN
THEREAFTER.
BUT IT'S MUCH MORE, I THINK,
COMPLICATED THAN THAT.

Nam says MICHELLE, DID YOU WANT
TO ADD ANYTHING?

Michelle says I THINK WE
HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WITH THE
GENDER PIECE.
WE DO SOMETIMES A CHOCOLATE
COVERED BROCCOLI MANOEUVRE WHERE
WE TAKE THE THING THAT WE THINK
GIRLS DON'T LIKE AND WE TRY TO
DIP IT INTO SOMETHING YUMMY.
LET'S MAKE CODING ABOUT FASHION.
LET'S MAKE IT ABOUT THIS AND
THAT.
I THINK THAT CAN BE PROBLEMATIC
AND IT REALLY CEMENTS, LIKE, IT
GIVES A WEIRD ONE-SIDED VIEW OF
WHAT FEMALE GENDER LOOKS LIKE,
IN MY OPINION, AND I THINK THAT
THE FOCUS SHOULD REALLY BE ON
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN YOU SOLVE WITH
THIS?
WHAT CAN YOU DO THAT'S
INTERESTING?
HERE IS A ROBOT.
WHAT CAN YOU MAKE IT DO?
I THINK THE CHALLENGE WE'RE
FACING IN ONTARIO SCHOOLS RIGHT
NOW WITH TEACHING CODING AND
COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IS, IT'S
CODING FOR CODING'S SAKE.
YOU MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN ON A
SCREEN AND IT LOOKS AND FEELS
SOMETIMES LIKE A VIDEO GAME.
I CAN SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE, BOYS
AND GIRLS, BEING KIND OF LIKE,
WHAT'S THE POINT?
I THINK WE HAVE TO... IF THIS IS
SOMETHING WE THINK IS IMPORTANT
AND IT'S GOING TO SHOW UP IN THE
ONTARIO CURRICULUM HOPEFULLY
SOON, I THINK WE HAVE TO EXPAND
IT OUT TO BEING SOMETHING THAT
HELPS US SOLVE PROBLEMS,
SOMETHING THAT IS ABOUT THE
BIGGER THINKING IDEAS THAT I
TALKED ABOUT, DEBUGGING,
PERSISTING WITH DIFFICULT TASKS,
TAKING A BIG PROBLEM AND CUTTING
IT DOWN.
ALSO IT'S SOMETHING THAT SHOULD
BE SOCIAL AS WELL.
I DON'T WANT TO SEE MY KIDS EACH
OF THEM ALONE ON AN IPAD OR
CHROME BOOK OR ANY DEVICE
PRESSING BUTTONS, SEPARATED FROM
THEIR PEERS, AND PARTICULARLY
FOR GIRLS WHO TEND TO BE MORE
SOCIAL.
THAT CAN BE A HUGE TURN-OFF
BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DO, OFTEN
GIRLS PREFER TO DO SOMETHING
SOCIALLY.
I THINK WE HAVE TO WATCH THE,
OH, GIRLS AREN'T INTERESTED,
LET'S MAKE IT PINK, WHICH THEN
IS GOING TO HAVE SOME COUNTER
PROBLEMS DOWN THE ROAD.

Nam says IT'S BEEN SAID THAT
ANYONE CAN LEARN HOW TO CODE.
SO IS CODING THE GREAT EQUALIZER?

Melissa says I
THINK IT CAN BE IF WE CAN GIVE
EVERYONE ACCESS.
THAT'S THE INTERESTING THING AND
THE REASON WE'RE ADVOCATING FOR
THIS TO BE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
RIGHT NOW OUR EXPERIENCE RUNNING
PROGRAMS EXTRACURRICULARLY, THE
PARENTS THAT HAVE THE MEANS AND
RESOURCES TO BRING THEIR KIDS TO
OUR PROGRAMS ARE THE ONES
LEARNING TO CODE.
TOBY, THE CEO OF SHOPIFY, SAID
HE STUMBLED ON THIS, HE WAS
FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO JUST FIND
THIS, RIGHT?
WE SHOULDN'T... THAT SHOULDN'T
BE HOW OUR KIDS FIND OUT ABOUT
TECHNOLOGY, RIGHT?
WE SHOULD GIVE THEM THESE
OPPORTUNITIES.
IT DOES TRANSCEND BORDERS.
YOU CAN LEARN THIS ANYWHERE.
THE RESOURCES YOU NEED TO GET
STARTED ARE MINIMAL.
IT'S ONLY IF WE CAN GIVE ACCESS
TO EVERYBODY THAT WE'RE GOING TO
BE ABLE TO SEE THE BENEFITS AND
GET EVERYONE INVOLVED IN
BUILDING.

Nam says WE HAVE ABOUT 30
SECONDS, HENRI, LAST WORD?

Henri says I
DEFINITELY... I'M A BIG
PROPONENT OF DISCOVERY.
I'VE BEEN SORT OF VERY CURIOUS
ABOUT THIS RUSH TO CODE AND, YOU
KNOW, WHAT PEOPLE SEE IN IT, BUT
FOR THE MOST PART, I WANT TO SEE
PEOPLE BE VERY SUCCESSFUL.
THERE'S SO MUCH... WE WERE
SAYING OUTSIDE, THE 80-20 RULE,
3 PERCENT OF DEVELOPING IS
CREATING, THE OTHER 80 IS
ACTUALLY DEBUGGING.
THERE ARE DAYS IT'S JUST NOT FUN.
BUT THE BIGGER PICTURE IS LET'S
GET PEOPLE REALLY INTO STEM,
ULTIMATELY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine"

Nam says THANK YOU VERY MUCH
FOR BEING HERE, MICHELLE,
MELISSA, AND HENRI.
GREAT DISCUSSION.

Watch: Coding Kids